Crows are very social birds that mate for life (fidelity not guaranteed, however) and maintain close family bonds. Members of one generation of chicks will stick around to help raise their siblings the following spring. In fact, males are more apt to help out with little brothers and sisters than females. The theory is that males will be more attractive mates if they are conversant in the fine art of nest building and foraging for chick food. Although a pair only goes through the full mating ritual once, they keep up the pair bond with tender moments such as shown in this gif of two crows noodling around and necking in the snow.

Crows flirting in the snow

I took advantage of the nice Thanksgiving weather to take photos of the hometown crow crowd. Gwen and S. Crowbert are reasonably tolerant of my presence in their enclosure as long as I don’t have the net. Stephen always stays close to Gwen when I’m around, however, and Gwen does not hesitate to yell at me if I get too close or (horrors) mess with their stuff by cleaning up. Anyway, I got a shot of them doing the same beak lock behavior as the crows in the video. Let’s hope that bodes well for the spring breeding season.