Today was the big day: time to remove Zen’s boot to see if restraining her foot in the correct position for a few weeks would get rid of the twist and allow her to perch normally. At first, I tried to get the tape off a bit at a time without restraining her but there was just too much, it was too sticky, and the piecemeal approach was beginning to stress her out. So I scooped her up in a pillowcase and held her in the crook of my left arm while removing the tape with my right. She was a trooper and did not move for the entire time. I don’t know if she understood that I was trying to help or was just true to her name (or a combination of both). But I like to think she knew I had her best interests at heart. It took me about 10 minutes to get everything off but the before and after photos tell a happy story.
This is a major step forward not only for Zen’s comfort and safety but for her ability to exhibit proper corvitude. One of my favorite things is a well-executed crow strut. It is a gait replete with confidence, mischief, and a certain cocky charm. With luck, Zen will now be able to reassert a bit of her true crow nature. Gwen, of course, has a strut for the ages.
Super Friend Terry sent me a fabulous video of a crow strutting to signal the acquisition of a peanut. The video documents a turning point in her relationship with the crows at City Park in New Orleans. Terry has been offering peanuts for nearly a year and the crows are now willing to get in close proximity to collect their loot. Here, one crow announces the peanut opportunity to his buddies, another indication of trust. Crows will warn their compatriots about danger but will not invite their buddies to join them in foraging unless they are sure the coast is clear. As the Supremes and others have pointed out, you can’t hurry love. But when crow love happens, it’s a magical moment.