I grabbed my binoculars and went looking for owls this morning. I ended up at a place that's been productive in the past for me somewhere near Shakopee.
Unfortunately, this morning there seemed to absolutely nothing happening on the owl front (or with any wings of the air for that matter). It was chilly and very quiet, with only a few Chickadees chattering away as I walked the trails.
As I wandered down an access road across some floodplain forest, a crow flew into a tree near the trail. I generally talk to the birds I see, so naturally, I said hello to the crow and told him that I was looking for owls today, and asked if he would help me find one. He looked at me for a second or two and then flew off towards the Minnesota River.
I chuckled at myself and followed the crow because that direction was as good as any other. When I got to the river, I had to turn either right or left. I opted for the right, since the tree in the photo accompanying this post is located there. This tree creeps me out and it's always worth stopping by if you are in the neighborhood.
As I stood by this tree thinking about where to try next, three more crows flew over and landed in the spooky tree. They cawed and then flew east, back the way I had come. They were calling as they flew away.
"Okay, things are getting weird now" I thought to myself as I followed the crows back to the intersection and they again flew east another couple of hundred of yards. I wandered east kind of following the crows.
As I approached the roosting crows again, they flew across the river. "Very funny, guys" I thought to myself. It's always kind of a gamble asking crows for any kind of help or advice - they are tricksters and love pranks. I figured I had just gotten "punked" by some birds as I watched them cross the Minnesota River through my binoculars.
However, they joined another group of crows in the trees over there and then the whole group got very agitated and started raucously cawing over and over. They had obviously found a roosting owl (or hawk) and were mobbing the thing.
The show was over in a few minutes when the hapless raptor got tired of the noise and left. I never saw the bird they found, but I still count this as help from the crows. It's not their fault that I can't fly across the river with them, after all.
Next time, though, I think I will ask the crow to find me an owl on this side of the river.