Posted by: Zane Maser | July 29, 2013


I will act as if what I do makes a difference.
William James, American philosopher


We have greatly enjoyed the high fortune this past month of being “food godparents” to three juvenile American crows—the new generation of their familial line (Corvus brachyrhynchos). For several years now, we’ve had the privilege of augmenting the diet of an adored, one-footed crow, who we named Blessing, and currently for a crow couple (and their demanding fledglings). Highly resourceful and intelligent, these graceful, black beauties glide into our garden for an opportunistic meal of nuts and dog food kibbles that we leave around the edge of a birdbath and also on a wooden bar over our back gate. Truly, we are the quick-service “Birdie Diner.”


While they were caring for their newborn nestlings, we seldom saw the female crow. She is much more aloof and skittery than her mate, who often sits on the wire right above us, his clear brown eye looking intently at me, cawing for some sort of special treat. Being exceedingly social birds, we seem to be included as trustworthy entities in their typically large family group—at least food- and water-wise!

The past few weeks the female crow has made nervous appearances, occasionally by herself and at times with him and one or two of the kids. Shocking me to the core when I first glimpsed it, her right eye is glazed over with a whitish coating, about four times its normal size, and popped out of its socket, clearly the result of an injury and/or infection. So far, with the eye still intact, she has adapted rather well through heightened wariness and seems all right otherwise. Her appetite is prodigious in the amount of dog kibbles she can gobble and carry away in her sturdy black beak. She’s a marvel—sent by the angels! It is yet another crow blessing for us to in some small measure serve one of God’s creatures by making her life a wee bit easier.

All so-called minor acts, like providing a wild crow a meal, may appear to be insignificant measured against a world and cosmic scale. But from a higher perspective, all acts, whether ordinary or grand, are significant. And every little act done with loving attention, behind the scenes, raises the whole world in extraordinary ways. All kindly efforts matter, because every thing is connected to every other thing in the universe through the Principle of Oneness. Kahlil Gilbran reminds us that “the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”

Here at our oasis, dubbed the “Song Sparrow Hermitage,” we live within a quiet stream that includes a serene daily rhythm. Here, we live in obscurity and what may appear to be insignificance. But for us, our home and garden are the small piece of holy and private ground entrusted to us. It is the day-by-day legacy we are creating.

Perhaps in this sacred space we’ve created over the past twenty years, we have also established an insignificantly significant center of divine peace and harmony wherein a loving energy moves out into the wider world. In its own important way, every such endeavor toward unity helps to mitigate the rampant uncertainty and fear now so palatable around the globe.

Every selfless contribution extended by each of us, in the end, makes an enormous, qualitative change that lessens—and eventually dissolves—the illusion of fear and separation. The more peace and love each shares, the more peace and love automatically fills our personal and collective lives. What we give returns; what we receive we have the opportunity to re-circulate within the One Body.

In the divine economy,
there is neither great nor small,
so small is like the large.
Fragment from Hermes


Cool Facts about the American Crow:

• American Crows congregate in large numbers in winter to sleep in communal roosts. These roosts can be of a few hundred up to two million crows. Some roosts have been forming in the same general area for well over 100 years. In the last few decades some of these roosts have moved into urban areas where the noise and mess cause conflicts with people.

• Young American Crows do not breed until they are at least two years old, and most do not breed until they are four or more. In most populations the young help their parents raise young for a few years. Families may include up to 15 individuals and contain young from five different years.

• In some areas, the American Crow has a double life. It maintains a territory year ‘round in which the entire extended family lives and forages together. But during much of the year, individual crows leave the home territory to join large flocks at dumps and agricultural fields, and to sleep in large roosts in winter. Family members go together to the flocks, but do not stay together in the crowd. A crow may spend part of the day at home with its family in town and the rest with a flock feeding on waste grain out in the country.

• Despite its tendency to eat road kills, the American Crow is not specialized to be a scavenger, and carrion is a very small part of its diet. Though their bills are large, crows can’t break through the skin of even a gray squirrel. They must wait for something else to open a carcass or for the carcass to decompose and become tender enough to eat.


• Crows are crafty foragers that sometimes follow adult birds to find where their nests are hidden. They sometimes steal food from other animals. A group of crows was seen distracting a river otter to steal its fish, and another group followed Common Mergansers to catch minnows being chased into the shallows. They also sometimes follow songbirds as they arrive from a long migration flight and capture the exhausted birds. Crows also catch fish, eat from outdoor dog dishes, and take fruit from trees.

• Crows sometimes make and use tools. Examples include a captive crow using a cup to carry water over to a bowl of dry mash; shaping a piece of wood and then sticking it into a hole in a fence post in search of food; and breaking off pieces of pine cone to drop on tree climbers near a nest.

• The oldest recorded wild American Crow was 16 years old. A captive crow that died in New York lived to be 59 years old.1


Related Posts:

• A Symbol of Hope

• The World is in our Neighborhood

• One Small Nudge affects the Whole World

• Compassion On the Day of Love

• “One Body”

• Every Moment Is A Gift

• “Souper” Bowl of Caring 2012

• Charity Enacted

• Soul Assignments


1. “Cool Facts about the American Crow” verbatim from

Text © by Zane Maser, 2013. Photos of the crows gratefully used from Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.

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