Slow crows

Australian Raven

On our recent trip to Sydney and back I commented several times on the casual nature of the crows along the road. So many times we saw them eating road-kill, either on the road itself, or very close to the edge of the paved area. As we approached – generally driving at 100-110kph – the birds would casually wander off the carriageway and just a few steps out of harm’s way. Rarely did they fly off. Occasionally they might give a hop or two to avoid being hit; this usually meant they had left their escape just a second or two too long. Then after our vehicle had passed, they quickly resumed their feast.

I presume that they had learned over their lifetime that vehicles caused them no harm provided they moved out of the way in time. Being quite intelligent animals they probably learned this survival technique from others. It just looked quite comical to me to see them so casually wandering out of danger.

I should actually correct myself here: most of the birds we saw were actually Australian Ravens, not crows at all. This is the largest corvid found in Australia. Crows are found further north than where we were travelling. Nearer to home we often see the same behaviour exhibited by the local species, the Little Raven. This behaviour is quite common on the South Eastern Freeway from Adelaide to my home town of Murray Bridge.

Little Raven


5 Responses to “Slow crows”

  1. An interesting post here Trevor. I was told about the crows/ravens error by my son pack when he was at Primary School. I was impressed that he’d actually learned something and remembered it!
    I live in the Mallala district area and often see both of those ravens casually strolling out of danger. I just had a thought – Trevor do you know if there’s a collective term for ravens? If there isn’t I offer this one ‘ an insolence of ravens’.
    The always seem to be either laughing at us, or ignoring us. How dare they!
    I don’t mean that, of course – I’m glad these birds choose to share their world with us.

  2. Ah, that’s right, I remember the ‘murder of crows’ one now.

    I recall thinking that was a bit harsh, the first time I heard it.

    What do you think would be a good one for galahs? Something playfully joyous, but silly with it, I feel…
    I’ll leave you to think on it.

    • Trevor says:

      I have just discovered another: a conspiracy of ravens. Haven’t heard of that one before.

      As for galahs: I’ve never heard or read anything but a flock of galahs which is about as interesting as listening to a raft of speeches by a confusion of politicians. Or a herd of journalists (I just made those up.)

      I agree that galahs should be honoured with a suitable joyful appellation. I immediately thought of a gaggle of galahs, but the geese have been honking about that one since Roman times. A screech seems more suited to cockatoos, while a giggle of galahs is not only inappropriate, it’s laughable.

      A gang of galahs can easily be confused with a Gang-Gang Cockatoo, an eastern states parrot. One that comes close is a gabble of galahs.

      Having exhausted the letter g in the dictionary I started thinking about words starting with other letters.

      How about a beautiful one? A roseate of galahs? This reflects the earlier name for the species: Rose-breasted cockatoo. Mind you, to do this I’ve changed the word roseate from an adjective to a noun. (Unforgivable.)

      Or perhaps even: a clowning of galahs? Hehehehe…

  3. I like that last one, those galahs certainly look to me having a fine and funny lime being clownish!

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