The fact that it is the season of renewal and new life (Happy Easter and Passover) does not seem to interest Gwen. Rather, I must conclude she is misnamed; apparently I was supposed to call her Penelope. At least her nest-building technique is inspired by Penelope, made famous in the Odyssey by keeping her suitors at bay by claiming she would marry when she finished the shroud she was weaving. She then wove during the day and undid everything at night, thereby avoiding marriage and remaining faithful. Likewise, Gwen, with some help from Stephen, has spent the last week or so carrying sticks into the nest-area, arranging them, and then removing 90 percent of them at the end of the day.

One stick in particular has great importance, as she has put it in at least a half dozen places, none of which have proved to be satisfactory. Perhaps this is the foundation-stick and once it has been placed correctly, everything else will follow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Stick of Sticks has finally found its home and she has committed to a course of action. The last full day of video I got showed this pile of sticks actually getting bigger over the course of the day for the first time.



This is from April 15. Later that day, Gwen managed to dislodge the camera so that it has a panoramic view of the ground. Since it is triggered by motion, now all I get are photos of crow’s feet (literally) and of Gwen tugging on the electrical cord. On the Great Gwen Timetable, she still has a few weeks before she needs to lay her eggs, so I could try to reposition the camera but then they might have to destroy the nest and start over because I’ve seen it. The other option is to wait until she is brooding, and thus committed, but I certainly don’t want to give her an excuse to dump the eggs.

Have I mentioned it’s not easy to outsmart a crow?