Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

What Is That Sound?

The-Birds I HEARD AN UNWELCOME NOISE as I stepped out of my car this morning at St. Arbucks. It was a noise I’ve heard a million times before. Each time I hear it I cringe and wish that Annie Oakley was still alive.

The Crows are returning to the city.



Every year, in the early fall, we are inundated by thousands of crows – tens of thousands of crows.

When the crows return to Terre Haute (That’s French for, “I’m going to the carwash.”) the skies are darkened as they fly overhead.

The official term for a large group of these birds is a “Murder of Crows,” and it seems very appropriate. Other species of birds as well as squirrels and countless small animals take cover when the crows are around. I’ve seen crows blow pigeons out of the air like a squadron of Luftwaffe fighters. The only time I’ve seen the crows head for cover was when some huge Redtail Hawks are in the neighborhood. When the Hawks show up even small cars take cover.



Last year my wife, the lovely and equally anti-crow, Dawn, and I watched a National Geographic documentary about crows (It was either National Geographic or the Food Channel). The Docu-mercial said that crows recognize people who have given them trouble, and they can later pick those individual humans out of a crowd – and – they can communicate that information to other crows who did not witness the Anti-Crow person in action.


They went on and on about how smart crows are and now, armed with that knowledge, I think that I’ve been able to recognize several crows in our neighborhood who have been seen hanging out at a local “Biker bar.” One of them is a candidate for Congress.

A couple of years ago I got into a minor confrontation with a local idiot who saw me shoo-ing some crows off of the car (I guess they see me as an enemy). The idiot actually said,

“You should leave them alone, they’re just being Natural.”

After I finished biting my tongue to avoid verbally turning him into chum, I very calmly and politely told him,

“If you think that it is OK for the crows to crap all over my car, how about if I and a few friends, after a nice Mexican dinner, and have a group intestinal purge all over your car? It’ll be all so “Natural.”

The idiot picked up his kale and copy of Mother Jones Magazine and slinked away – naturally, and under his own power. I think my response was well measured and not too harsh. “No horses were harmed in the making of that repartee.

crow4The crow I saw this morning was probably a forward scout – sent ahead of the Murder to make sure everything was safe and that the Humans haven’t been importing Redtail Hawks or handing out Sniper rifles to everyone (Not a bad idea if you ask me – but you didn’t ask, did you?).

The city, in all its collective ineptitude, will once again try to scare the crows away by setting off loud noisemakers. It has been totally ineffective in the past so, of course, they think it might work this year.

It took the crows about twenty minutes to figure out that it was just noise with no punch. Now, when “The Crow Patrol” (seriously!) starts making noise the younger crows seem to come out of hiding and dance. Have you ever seen two crows Tango?

Come to Terre Haute – It’s Crow Season!

Bring an umbrella.


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2 thoughts on “What Is That Sound?

  1. That’s is funny, John. But, at the same time, oh so true!

    When I lived and went to HS in Robinson, the City had a pigeon problem not unlike Tearable Hutt has with crows, starting in the Fall. The pigeons were primarily flying from the Courthouse Bell Tower across the street to the Flour Mill, which sat on the East side of the Jail. Crapping all the way over there, and crapping all the way back. They just flew that route, didn’t seem to bother any other structures. When they flew back from the Mill to the Bell Tower they would circle the tower for a few minutes, crapping all the that time. I mean hundreds of them.

    This was County buildings and property they were messing up, as well as the store buildings and sidewalks all around the Square. The Sheriff got the Mill owners permission, in writing, and this is how they stopped it, or them, dead. They formed a “Pigeon Posse”, armed with shotguns. Pump, single shot, double-barrel, all kinds. Then the County furnished the ammunition. They started in the Tower, climbing up from the inside of the Courthouse real quite like. Then….BLAM!! BLAM!! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! I watched from the Jails’ side porch as hundreds of pigeons took off for the wide blue yonder. Well, actually they flew directly to the Mill. That was their mistake, for hidden all around, on top, inside, in cars, were more Vigilantes waiting for them. Then…. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! More and more of them fell from the sky. The whole bunch flew back to the Bell Tower, but not to safety, for then those Vigilantes opened up again on the flock.

    All that shooting continued until the two remaining brave birds left. I think they flew back South. Of course, that one shooting spree didn’t completely discourage other birds to try again after about a week. But, our Vigilante Posse Sharpshooters were in the Tower and the Mill once again. This continued for probably a month.

    You know, that was in the early 1950’s…..and they haven’t had a pigeon onslaught since. This has been a real disappointment to some wild game hunters in the County. Those particular long-guns, I’m told, never had to be used again and were stored away in each mans’ closet. Oh…..there are two, I’m told, on exhibit at the Historical Society Headquarters.

    (True Story)

    Liked by 1 person

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