For Shame, Crow Hater!
A Letter to the Editor
by C.E. Hibbard
Written for the Lethbridge Herald
June 24th, 2011
In response to Lethbridge Herald letter: “nature’s ‘serial killer”; published June 21st, 2011 – as seen here:
Dear local crow-hater: You have once again roused me from an otherwise comfortable existence to come to the defence of the innocent.
Your most recent letter somehow inferred three things: since A) crows and magpies will dine on other bird’s eggs and B) do not have a pleasant singing voice; they are C) annoying and should all be exterminated.
Your letter essentially called out the entire Corvidae genus as being the lowliest of birds; unworthy of the same respect that we prescribe to the robins and geese in our fair city.
The creative writer side of me wishes to roast your letter, and I imagine ‘murders’ of crows and magpies setting up observation posts in your cul-de-sac, pooping on your car whenever you appear outdoors, and cawing at you from distant treetops to wake you up early in the morning.
More rationally, I simply feel obliged to write some form of letter to protect our lovely blackbirds. As an “avid birder”, I would think you could appreciate crows as the intricate machines they are. They are devoted family members; problem solvers, and yes – omnivorous eaters of eggs, meat and well…. everything.
Intelligent beings found on all major continents, crows live wherever people do. Tests have revealed that they are as smart – if not smarter – than other creatures we admire such as chimpanzees, dolphins and golden retrievers. If you don’t believe me, ask David Suzuki!
Birds such as magpies, jays, ravens and crows have inspired hundreds of works of art. We drive daily on the Crowsnest Trail and Red Crow Boulevard. We have co-opted expressions like ‘crow’s feet’ and ‘eating crow’ to represent human conditions. I won’t even begin to list the songs, sports teams, and even entire aboriginal cultures – that have been inspired by these “cunning marauders”. Like it or not, crows and their kind have become iconic metaphors in our culture due to their very nature – which you seem to despise. They are crafty, selfish and, well — a lot like us.
Until crows learn to write (and one day they just might, being the ‘smartest of all birds’ after all) I will gladly turn over the responsibilities of penning letters like these to my fine feathered friends themselves. In the meantime, I feel obliged to protest your somewhat genocidal attitude regarding our Corvidae cousins and encourage you to be a bit more Canadian about it: assimilating and accepting of all our birds – chickadees, geese and magpies alike.
See chapter one of this ongoing editorial battle here: