The scientific designation is corvid, or corvids. Not covid but corvid. As in a murder of crows, which is the correct King’s English for a flock of crows, or at least it was the last time I was wandering those hallowed halls of learning. Sounds fitting to me after having lived around the nasty things for several years. Yet, over on the continent, people relish them as table groceries or so I’ve read. Go figure.
Yep, crows and their larger cousins the ravens are all corvids. Which is why there are federal regulations regarding shooting them since they are 32nd degree cousins to some dumb Mexican jerk bird that’s protected by an international treaty between our country and Mexico.
Magpies, which I dearly love to hate, are not corvids properly but due to some obscure genetic connection with corvids, are also included in international protection. Or so it used to be.
Magpies may be a shirt-tail relation to crows somewhere in their distant lineage, but it’s obscure and perhaps even invented by the greenies since the feathered garbage collectors own their own separate scientific designation in the birding books.
Adaptable and intelligent, they are nasty birds, sneak killers of smaller critters, especially little birds. Magpies are literally feathered coyotes, and like the corvids and the coyotes, the groups they live in are family or extended family. Strength in numbers, I guess.
Still, as much as I despise those feathered demons from hell, the magpies, they are not on the top of my list. That spot is reserved for the English starlings. Their just being English would be enough to incur my enmity, but these non-native birds (unlike the corvids which are native to the Americas) deserve every participle of ill will I can muster against them, at least in my humble opinion.
Were you aware that every single one of those nest-robbing rascals is descended from a group of 100 birds that a bunch of Shakespeare-loving half-wits released in New York City’s Central Park back in the early 1890s? Walleyes turned loose in Buffalo Bill Reservoir don’t even begin to compare, environmental impact-wise, with these feathered denizens. In this country where they are free to come and go as they please, with little or no regulation, they are a world-class pain in the keester and an environmental disaster of mega proportions.
They aren’t pretty and their screeching vocalizations definitely aren’t musical, sounding to my ear more like the squawking of a rusty gate hinge being pried open.
According to my sources, there are over 200 million of the darned things in our country now, displacing native birds at feeders and chasing hole-nesting birds like woodpeckers and bluebirds from their nests and taking over same. Mid-June is the time they start appearing in my yard at the feeder, making a royal mess.
You’d think that since all of the birds are related, coming from just 100 initial ancestors, they’d be inbred and eventually die out. Apparently that only works with rats, mice and men.
I don’t like the feathered jerks because they are bully the smaller birds at the feeder. I’ve heard they invade other birds’ nests and eat the eggs also. Don’t take that for a fact, but I wouldn’t put it past them. Since they’ve shown up at our feeder the lazuli buntings and the evening grossbeaks have gone elsewhere, along with our quartet of pretty yellow birds, which upsets me as I really enjoyed watching those colorful critters playing around the yard.
It’s one of the few pleasures I have in life, besides a large slice of apple pie topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream after supper.
Don’t hate, you have your booze and TV football games, I have my books and magazines and my calories. Sounds fair to me.