A murder of crows

At this time of year the crows come to my street. They line up on the power lines watching the trees.

And they wait. They seem quite patient.

Every now and then a ripe walnut will drop to the street.

Then the crows rush down. They squabble over the nut. One grabs it and flies off.

Usually one drop is not enough to crack the shell.

But crows are smart, if the shell is unbroken they known they must fly high and drop it again.

But this presents something of a problem — the nut will fall down faster than the crow can safely fly down and another crow may arrive at the nut before the owner can get to it (crows do not share).

This presents a dilema to a crow — do you fly low enough to grab the nut off the street before anyone else can get to it, or high enough to crack it?

It’s an interesting game, and the crows were playing it all morning. But now the sun is high, and there’s not a crow in sight. I wonder why not? Do walnuts only ripen in the foggy mornings? Do crows doze at noon?

A week later: Finally some sunny mornings. The crows are still out there in the morning and disappear in the afternoon. Nothing to do with fog then.


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