Photostory: The crow and the dung cake

Have you seen a crow with its food?

The way it looks at the food and then examines it before eating — be it leftover food thrown away in a dustbin or rotting meat or even fresh rice that many Hindus serve as offerings to ancestors.

Their behaviour is more or less the same… A sudden flapping of wings as they land near the food, then an examination of what the food is, then a quick look around, a tiny sampling, and then gobbling it all up. And sometimes, just sometimes, a caw and then some more of appreciation. 🙂

Last year, during a visit to the Hatu Mata Temple at Himachal Pradesh, I came across a crow and its intense deliberation of a dried up pile of dung. I was photographing flowers when I heard a caw and looked up to see and then photograph an entire sequence with the crow.

I had kind of forgotten about these set of photographs and found them while I backing up the photographs. And voilà, an entire narrative emerged. In the crow’s words of course. 😉

Well… what do we have here?
Crow, Bird. dung

Smells interesting. Looks a little dry on the outside, but might be moist and juicy on the inside. I think I’ll go for it. And what luck that my tribe is not around. Caw… Caw… Caw..
Crow, Bird. dung

I think I should look around. Just in case, you know… Zamana kharaab hai
Crow, Bird. dung

Uh oh… there’s a human looking straight at me with some kind of a contraption.
I think I'll go for it. And what luck that my tribe is not around. Caw... Caw... Caw..

I think I’ll just ignore the human and look away and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Maybe the human will go away.
Crow, Bird. dung

D**n ! The human is still there. I’ll look the other way now.
Crow, Bird. dung

Hmfph ! That is one persistent human, I must say ! I’ll just fly off and come back after a while.
Crow, Bird. dung

And just like that the crow flew off !

I love crows. I love everything about them — their glossy black feathers, their alert and beady eyes, the ruffled look when they get all defensive and well… ruffled, their aggression and how they wear down intruders and invaders with their incessant cawing. I love the way they take afternoon siestas on the window ledge outside my office window in summers, and huddle together during the monsoons.

But most of all, I love how expressive they are. I own some charcoal drawings of crows and they are among my favourite works of art that I own. Just like the birds themselves. 🙂

Do you like crows?

19 thoughts on “Photostory: The crow and the dung cake

  1. I just scroll to watch photos and then at the end I read – Do you like crows?
    Of course I like them because they are different. 🙂
    And I appreicate your post too. Good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tushar. The reason I asked “Do you like crows?” is because most people I know don’t. They find them raucous, aggressive and are also a bad omen for some.

      Glad you liked the post 🙂


  2. You know, the crow seems to be just saying all those words. Never knew you could read their minds 🙂 BTW, I am extremely curious to know if they have just one eyeball, which is why they have to cock their eye to see something. There is even a legend to corroborate that in the Ramayana.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I have a way with crows, maybe because I like them so much. I spend my lunch time everyday looking out of my office window and watching the antics of a group of crows that invariably spend time on a ledge there. One of the most surprising things I have discovered about them is how silent they can be for hours together and also how affectionate they can be with each other. I hesitate to use phrases like “a peck of crows” or “a murder of crows” because of this.

      I haven’t noticed their eyeballs closely. But will do so now and report to you 🙂


    1. Ishita, I love crows as I think they are one of the most expressive birds around. So if I had to write a post on birds it had to be on crows and only crows. I’m not a bird watcher myself, per se. But I like them and know that they are around. I miss bird song if it is not around me. But ask me to identify birds beyond crows, sparrows and parakeets and I’m lost. 😛


I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.