Monday, November 23, 2009

Feeding Crows - Superstitious?!




Now, when did I start feeding the crows (Kaakkaa)?  I think when we were in Bangalore, I started feeding them chapaathis to just entertain my small kids!
My grandma and mother used to feed the crows with rice and dhal as soon as the morning pooja was over at home.  My grandma used to serve us only after feeding the crows and if we were hungry, we used join her to call them 'kaa kaa kaa' in chorus.  I wonder if they came to eat after hearing our shouts!  Most of us, Indians believe that our ancestors come to us in the form of crows!  So, on the day of the death anniversary - Shraadhdha - of our ancestors, we are particular to offer rice with vada and the myth is - if the crow takes rice facing east or west or north (Kuber's corner-more money!) it is good for us!




In Chennai, in our first house, I used to throw pieces of chapaathis to the crows through the kitchen window!  They used to wait on the post of the chain fence, dive and catch the pieces in the air!  It was fun!  Otherwise, they were taking piece by piece from my hand, peeping their heads inside the window!  They never liked rice!
Later on, we shifted to our new house and the next door neighbour used to tell me that the crows would follow me to the new house too! Here, the crows like rice with lot of curd!  From 8.30 to 8.45 am, they start giving me sounds, to remind me that they are waiting! As soon as they see my head at the backyard, some 10 to 15 crows surround the place, on the fence or on the trees and wait for me to place the rice on the washing stone (we have kept a stone for washing clothes at the backyard).  One fearless crow sits on the edge of the stone itself, waiting for me to leave!  Then, all of them start pecking the rice in twos and threes...sometimes fights will be there.  Some carry lot of rice in their beaks and fly away to feed their babies! You can see them coming down to eat in the above photograph! The food is nearly over here!  I have seen one crow with just one leg, many times... I don't see it now.  I liked the next photo too...one contented look in their pose! And they love to eat/drink the curd which stays at the bottom of the rice.  They turn their necks on the side, put their beaks beneath the rice and suck!  Most of the crows have gray necks and some have black necks, which are a bit bigger in size.  The black necks terrorize the gray necks and eat all the rice sometimes!  After they leave, I mix some more rice and offer to the gray necks!



Some of the crows are waiting for their turn here:



Then the squirrel who waits till the crows fly off, comes down, to finish off the remaining rice! We have got lots of squirrels - small and big - playing at our backyard!  Till some 2-3 years back, they were nesting in our bathroom ventilator, in between the small glasses and netlon.   They used to bite and tear the netlon and the babies often fell inside our rooms.  I had to put them back into their nests!  Now, we have put steel mesh!  They have got lots of options for nesting in our area!




I have noticed that more than the crows, the squirrels love bread slices!  Sometimes they hold one whole slice in their mouths and run away!  Here, this squirrel is relishing a piece of bread! It is sitting on the cover slab of our well!



Sometimes, I have seen a bit big sized sparrows coming and eating the rice and the crows just wait for them to leave!

Then this bird, Asian Koel, female, comes and eats the remains of the rice.  She is always scared of any movements in the surroundings.  It was very difficult to take photograph of her. Took the pictures on two days:





This bird is her boyfriend! I didn't know the name of the bird.  My friend Radha wrote here that this is called Aisan Koel.  He also is a member of the curd eating gang in our house! I added this here today since this picture should also be here in this post (16.4.83)!



Just want to add that I am not superstitious but love and enjoy pampering animals and birds!


More posts on this subject:

38 comments :

wordsndreamz said...

That is such a sweet post! Kaakaas! One of the first birds that Poohi learnt was 'Kaakaa' :) Your backyard is so lovely! Squirrels too! We have squirrels in the woods near our house but they never come into our garden.. We only get to see cats around here :)

Will show this post to Poohi as soon as she comes back from school - she is going to love it!

kavita said...

Sandhya...let me congratulate you on this blog makeover..it looks fabulous.I loved this crow and squirrel story because we too do this every morning ...it is so severe with my son that i closely guard his breakfast which for some reason he loves to share a major portion with the flying black beauties.I think these stories or superstitions were designed to teach us respect and love animals and birds around us.

It was fun reading about rice and curd loving crows....gray neck crows must be thanking you everyday for providing them extra food after nasty black neck ones leave.This interesting post reveals another beautiful aspect of you....thanks Sandhya !

Roshmi Sinha said...

Wonderful post! Took me down nostalgia lane...

I too am very fond of birds, animals and plants. You know they are so 'civilised' and seem to follow an unwritten rule. Most of the time. Unlike us... Humans. Supposedly the most evolved species... on this planet.

Sandhya said...

wordsndreamz: This is the big advantage of living in an independent house, with many drawbacks!

Let me know about Poohi's story about these kaakaas, Smitha! I love to hear their angle on this bird story!


Kavita: Thank you, Kavita! Your son is a sweet and compassionate boy! I agree with you about the reason for our superstitions. Snakes are treated as gods so that we will think twice before harming them...so many stories are there in our religion.

Thank you, Kavita! All of us in my family and my mother's family are crazy about animals!

Sandhya said...

Roshni Sinha: Welcome here! I enjoy watching them, too...any bird or animal!

Swaram said...

Such a beautiful post. So true that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder :) The crows, their necks - u have described it all so well :)
Loved all the pics :) Its so nice of u to feed them all :)

I love ur backyard Sandhya :)
Hugs :)

Roshmi Sinha said...

Hey Sandhya! I'm no first timer here. I have been reading your posts for a while now... and have commented before as well.

Infact, I have been following your blog for sometime now...

Renu said...

lovely post..in our family the first roti was always made for cow.

In the morning i also always feed crows,pigeons and sparrow..jo bhi mile....

Aparna said...

Most birds, animals and trees are revered in our culture as our fore fathers knew that nature is very important to mankind and we have to respect it and love it to survive.
This was a very sweet post. Your posts reveal how much love you have for the animal world. Your bulubul story was the one of the best posts I have read ever in the blogosphere.

manju said...

Lovely post, Sandhya! And the pictures are very nice, too.

When we lived in the City area, pigeons used to come to our veranda and my children loved to feed them.

Once they found a baby pigeon who seemed to have lost its mother. They made a box-nest for it and tried to take care of it, but it was too young, and unfortunately died.

BTW- The new look of your blog is lovely.

Sandhya said...

Swaram: The red-vented bulbul nested in the front side garden. The area is very small but they liked it! Thank you!


Roshmi Sinha: Sorry, Roshmi! Now, I will remember!


Renu: Nice. That is a good habit, Renu! This is like honouring other creations of God, I feel! Already we are spoiling the nature and destroying all other creatures. Feel very sorry for them too.


Aparna: I used to visit a temple in Bangalore, where all the navagraha deities had their own different types of trees. We used to do pradakshina to all the trees also, one by one! The neem and arasa maram (forgot the english name!) are gods for us.

Thank you, Aparna.


Manju: Your children must be remembering the incident too, about how they tried to take care of the birds. They will never ever harm any animals or birds in their life, I think. The softer nature of the children are visible here.

Thank you, Manju.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I too enjoy pampering birds and animals, I just love 'em!

Garden Lizard

Deepa said...

Nice post. My mother feeds the crows. After 'neiveidyam', rice and a little dal are put out for them. Only then we sit down to eat. And the crows have got accustomed to being fed. If my mother is late, then they sit at the window and make a huge racket to scold her for being late!

Where I live, there are only monkeys, cats and squirrels. The other day, when I looked outside the window, I was delighted to sight a deer on the golf range adjacent to my house. But before I could grab my camera, it ran away. I loved the peacocks which I could see during my days in Ahmedabad. They're so common, they behave like crows. And Gujaratis love birds I think. They leave food and water for them. In fact, most houses will have its own bird table.

R. Ramesh said...

sweet post.reminds me of childhood days in triplicane..mom used to offer crows first before v all sit to eat..btw..thanks for cmt S.Ya i had seen that vivek movie..hahaha..more gossip if i manage tomorrow..hahaha

Sandhya said...

Bhavesh: The photographs of the garden lizard are beautiful. Welcome here!


Deepa: The crows sit in front of my kitchen window on the chain fence and remind me that it is time to feed them! The news about 'bird table' is nice, thank you.

radha said...

Very nice post and nice pictures too. I do not mind crows, but feeding pigeons as one neighbour used to created a lot of problems for all of us. The birds just dirtied the place. My grandmother also used to feed the house sparrows - said they brought 'lakshmi' to the house. Well, now these birds are a rarity.

deepsspeakingup said...

Such a lovely post,Sandhya! And thh snaps are lovely too. The squirrels are so cute and they look so mischievous,no?

deepsspeakingup said...

BTW,your new layout looks beautiful,Sandhya. Liked it a lot :)

Sandhya said...

Radha: The crows are harmless but pigeons dirty the places. Their excreta makes holes on the cars or any vehicle. Our next road neighbour is suffering a lot because of this problem. After they built their beautiful house with a beautiful garden, one Santhoshi ma ka temple was built in the next compound. According to their custom, they throw grains everyday on the roof of their temple, for their pigeons. Then problem started for the neighbouring houses. This house owner wanted to give the house on rent and within 2 years 3 tenents changed, because of this problem.

I don't see any normal sparrows here, Radha. Feel sad for them.


Deepu: Yes, the squirrel photo has come out nicely. Thank you!

Destination Infinity said...

For some reason I like the crows. Its a wonder that they are able to come back at the same time again and again. One of my friend used to feed them regularly! Nice of you to do that. I like the no-fear-for-humans attitude of the crows!

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

Destination Infinity: One crow nearly takes rice from my hand. I am worried about the sharpness of its beak, so withdraw! You should see them feeding their babies, really enjoyable!

kanagu said...

wonderful... Crows always frightened me.... at times I got attacked by them... :)

and your backyard is so nice.. its great that you are feeding crows and squirrels... I like squirrels very much.... they are so nice... but I am seeing them rarely now...

and the new look to your blog is superb.. I liked it very much..

Sandhya said...

kanagu: Some crows do that, Kanagu. When I had a dog with me, whenever he went out, some crow will just dive and touch my dog and fly off. He used to be so scared of crows. They have done that to me too, sometimes. But not every crow does it.

Squirrels are very entertaining. The way they hold the food in their two hands and eat, is beautiful to watch.

Thank you, Kanagu.

Varunavi said...

Wonderful post sandhya a bit late here.

Pinkuda still remembers kaki (crow)which she saw 1 1/2 year back.

Your love towards the birds and animals is wonderful sandhya and bit tight hug for that.Crows got used of eating ur food,so nice.

U clicked the snaps??

Ur blog looks excellent and i have noticed u joined twitter as well.U too becoming net savy.

Sandhya said...

Varunavi: Thank you, Saritha! Don't you see any birds over there? It is nice to watch them.

Yes, I clicked the snaps. They could have been better!!

Joined twitter out of curiosity! Still learning through mistakes!

Varunavi said...

We see only piegons and cats here.

R. Ramesh said...

thanks ya...:)

Ashwini Sriram said...

amazing post mami! :) we always say that any animal that comes to your house is lucky!!! :)very nice pictures too. It is generally very hard to "catch them in the act". Iv always tried taking snaps of Jerry tilting his head to one side! never been successful. Lets name the crows!!!:D

Sandhya said...

Ashwini: Naming the crows? A very good idea! We have to tie coloured threads in their necks to recognise them, like we did for the kittens, right? It will be fun!

vimmuuu said...

ROFL !! This was more like reading a page from the National Geographic magazine ! :D :D :D :D

Great research on Crows and Squirrels ! :D :D :D

Sandhya said...

vimmuuu: You liked it? Read the posts I have highlighted in the last line of this post and tell me if you liked it?

indianhomemaker said...

Love this post! Delightful pictures! (How did I miss it though ??)
I also keep bajra for sparrows, bulbuls, mynaes and pigeons ... it started with the aim to take pictures but now I just love to feed them.

indianhomemaker said...

My favourite pictures are the last two - one with the shadow of the leaves on the wall, and the next one... the one where the crow is still flying is terrific!

Sandhya said...

IHM: Thank you! My whole family watches the crows having their breakfast, but excep me others can watch from the verandah! They are not scared of me at all!

Your family likes animals and birds, which is a good nature, I feel. We have to let them live too, alongwith us.

Yes, I noticed the flying crows image, only now! Thank you!

sharu said...

Mami, Very nicely written post.. I have seen this scene few times at your place, but it's very interesting to read.

Sandhya said...

SHARU: One more small bird also is eating after all the other birds leave. I don't know the name of the bird or was able to capture it in my camera!

sachin tomar said...

its not about pampering, Its about being liable to nature created by someone. Someone accept it as the way we pamper , but some time as the way ur priority's to do it as i am doing it for the past many years to bring happiness in my home as it wasn't and i got it as more then ten times, so all its about ur instincts
but not the people call about to being a superstitious.

Sandhya said...

SACHIN TOMAR: Welcome to my space, Tomar! Thanks for the comment!

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