Friday, February 19, 2010
Cherry Breaks the Ice
Yesterday, I gave one of my friends, Stephanie, a tour of the Education Training Center, where the birds live when it is not show season. I could tell by her expression that she was apprehensive about the birds. I understood her point of view because, as an intern last fall, I myself was very averse to the crows. I loved the raptors, but I did not want anything to do with the crows.
Crows have an undeserved negative reputation. After all, they frequently appear as sinister characters in literature and film. But now that I have spent some time working with them, they have become one of my favorite types of birds.
I became particularly close to Cherry, the African Pied Crow when we worked together at the Little Rock Zoo Show. Her intelligence and playfulness impressed me and changed my outlook on crows. Now I like to spend time after work sitting with Cherry. As each workday draws to a close, Cherry stands by her door and watches me expectantly. When I go into her mew and sit on the ground, she jumps into my lap and lets me preen her feathers.
When I saw that Stephanie was a little uncomfortable around the birds, I knew that Cherry could help break the ice. I brought her over to Cherry’s mew and I said to the bird, “Hey Cherry! Can you growl?” Cherry turned her head to the left, then to the right, puffed out her throat feathers, opened her beak, and said, “Grrrowl!” Stephanie laughed and applauded for her. I was glad to help someone see crows in a new light.
Submitted by Leah Sainz, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Keeper