As the Crow Flies

These winter evenings hundreds of crows congregate in the trees on the grounds of the President Benjamin Harrison home in Indianapolis. The sidewalks, the nearby parked cars, and much of the croquet yard are splattered with white droppings. I do not think they roost there, but they do gather … and with a good view of rush hour traffic. These crows (or, more probably, others) rise at dawn and fly west. Perhaps they are heading to the White River or maybe to the Eagle Creek reservoir. Perhaps they drop off, a few at a time, and land at their daytime feeding grounds. I do not know, but at this time of the year, I enter my workplace as they are flying overhead in a loosely ordered highway of crows. A “flyway”?

I’m willing to bet that most North American cities have crow highways. In my prior home city the crows flew over my house from the south and then, a half mile past, bowed off to the left—flying northwest and out of sight. In the same city, I had seen another crow path that seemed to bend with the curve of the river. I miss my old home and Indianapolis (even in this, my fifth winter here) feels foreign.

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