Tang’s nesting crows 3: The destruction of the nest and the end of the saga

posted in: Brood parasitism, Crows | 8

January 7th 2006 was 15 days since I first saw the three eggs in the nest. When I went out to buy groceries at around noon, I went up to my usual place to take a look at the crows’ nest. The first chick had hatched! I was excited and was wondering when the next two eggs would hatch.

I returned home at 2 pm. Quickly I took out my camera and went straight to the next block. From afar, I saw the two House Crows (Corvus splendens) hopping among the branches of their nesting tree. This looked strange. As I got closer, I was shocked to see that the whole nest had disappeared. Could it be an attack by the Asian Koels (Eudynamys scolopacea)? From the 4th level of the block, I could not see any traces or remnants of the nest. The pair of crows was calling desperately from the top of a nearby lamp-post. I decided to go down to the ground level to inspect the area beneath the tree. Yes, there was the chick, dead, of course, and a cracked egg. I didn’t see any trace of the third egg.

I started to reason. It couldn’t be the work of the koels. They couldn’t possibly remove the whole nest. It must be people. As I looked up to the nest site, a small girl and her maid were looking out of their window on the second level, talking to each other and pointing to where the nest was. They told me it was two workers and their boss who removed the nest with a long stick with a knife attached at its end. The whole nest fell to the ground and the workers took the nest away. The maid and the small girl were also sad about this.

Well, crows are pests. What can I say?

In 1995 when we were staying in Yishun, the Town Council sent a team of workers to our estate to conduct a massive felling of rows of lovely trees, some reaching 20 m in height. The whole operation lasted one week. The Town Council explained that these trees attracted many birds (Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica) to perch in. I moved house the next year.

Text and images by Hung Bun Tang

8 Responses

  1. armadillo

    That’s too bad… Really bad ! I just finished reading the other posts on this issue and then read this, Bad…
    All the efforts of two species at the same time – just by a hook on the pole, bad !

  2. YC

    We missed a golden opportunity to record the egg-nestling characteristics of crows and koels. What to do? The crow is an official pest. But then, not the koel. I suppose those who went forth and destroy, merely did their duty. YC

  3. Anonymous

    It is sad how we rationalize our cruelty by labelling another being a “pest”.
    We the homo sapiens are the most destructive of all species and we truly deserve the academy award for being the mother of all pests!

  4. Lea

    That’s really tragic. Are these crows indigenous? We’ve got many so-called crows here in Australia, often considered pests … they are in fact indigenous Australian ravens … tragic how any animals who impose on humans’ lives are deemed “pests” when, as the previous poster said, humans are the most destructive and most encroaching species of all.

    Other species have the right to exist too … and if humans like these idiots don’t realise that, they’re going to be in for a rude shock when they’ve removed so many other species from our earth’s holistic ecosystem that it will no longer support us – we’re all part of, and our lives are literally dependent on, the symbiosis of our earth’s ecosystem – and that includes humans.

  5. Anonymous

    house crows were introduced to singapore in world war 2 to combat catepillars. they’re not local, they’re an introduced invasive species. sounds strange but it’s so. i’d have much rather they helped us combat the japanese troops. both were pests but i guess you can only concentrate your forces on one enemy. lol.

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