A few years ago, while working on a dock, I became fascinated by the Cliff Swallows that lived in mud nests under the dock. I even wrote a post about them.
While I was at the office this morning, dropping off my paperwork for the week, I noticed the power lines were covered with thousands of Tree Swallows, which must be in the process of migrating North. As I watched them, I thought of the time on the dock with the Cliff Swallows:
One morning, while waiting for the crew to weld some hangers, I noticed a crow flying around the dock. I didn't pay much attention to it, until the tiny birds started fussing. They chased the crow back to the land, where it landed on a fence and watched.
A few minutes later, I saw the crow again. As I watched, it swooped down and caught one of the swifts resting on a concrete ledge, and took off toward the land. The swifts chased for a moment, but soon left the crow alone to enjoy its feast.
For some reason, that angered me. The crow probably was only feeding on the slow and weak, but that only made me more angry. The crow soon returned.
This time I was ready. I'd gathered a few bolt heads we'd accumulated from removing some structural steel. As the crow attempted to land, I damn near hit it with a bolt. It flew back to its perch on the land, but only for a short period of time.
When it returned, I let fly another bolt, which emboldened the swifts, that quickly swarmed the crow; fussing and pecking at the predator they didn't like.
The crow flew further inland, but wasn't completely discouraged. After about an hour, I was alerted by the swifts, as they fussed and swarmed the returning crow. This time, I only had to throw a bolt head its way, when it turned and left; with the swifts following as far as they dared.
The crow didn't return that day, or any other, while I was there. Whether it waited until we left for the evening to return I'll never know, but while I was there, it was smart enough to know I was helping protect my little friends.