Towse: views from the hill

July 23, 2010

Counting crows

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 2:11 pm

The murder of crows shows up in late afternoon, after the pandemonium (squabble?) of parrots has flown off to the night roost. The crows hang out in the trees down near where Levi’s Plaza meets the Embarcadero when they’re not having “walking practice” on the roof of Levi’s headquarters.

Ah, yes. Walking practice. Crows sit along the railings and watch others walk around on the roof. They caw and critique (“Hey, Max! You’re knock-kneed again!” “You walk like Mrs. Crow, Stanley!”) and caw again.

Then they’re off in a big whirl of black wings, reminiscent of THE BIRDS. Minutes later, they’re back again, plotting to take over the neighborhood, as soon as they learn to walk properly.

200-plus! Crows


  1. I love this picture.

    A family of crows moved in somewhere behind my house last spring. Everyone else complained (about the noise, mainly), while I kept insisting they were awesome, until every time one of them did something to annoy, the neighbors would chastise me about “my birds.” The local outdoor cat thought she’d face off with them one day. Big mistake. Lesson learned. Now she just eyes them resentfully from afar.

    Comment by teacake — July 27, 2010 @ 5:03 am

  2. They can be magical, can’t they?

    I just spent far too much time tracking down a short story I read years back that has stayed with me over the years. I thought it had been in the Atlantic Monthly or Harpers. The New Yorker? None of the above: The Utne Reader.


    Count on crows: They’re tomorrow’s bird for all the right reasons, says a local employee
    March/April 2001
    Ian Frazier DoubleTake (

    Comment by Towse — July 27, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  3. Cool. Thanks. I’ll go check it out! “Tomorrow’s birds for the right reasons.” I can’t wait to find out why but I’m sure he’s right.

    Comment by asha — July 27, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

  4. Wow…. loved the piece on crows! Thanks for the link. It’s a classic.

    Comment by ashabot — July 28, 2010 @ 10:39 pm

  5. Glad you liked it, Asha. You can see why it stayed tucked away in a corner of my mind.

    Comment by Towse — July 30, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

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