As I went with Elsa to the mailbox this afternoon her large Shepherd ears were piqued by a sloshing noise coming from one of our horse’s watering tanks. I immediately thought squirrel, put Elsa inside her fenced playground, grabbed a shovel, and went to rescue the floundering pest.
But when I looked in the tank…I was surprised to see a crow struggling to keep its beak out of the water. After finding a drowned squirrel several years ago I hung a two-by-four inside the tank: when the horses drank the water down too far for anything to reach the rim, they would (hopefully) be able to use that wooden ladder to escape. Now the crow was clinging to it, barely.
I expect squirrels to occasionally tumble into the water: they thrive by living on the edge. But a crow? Among the most intelligent of birds?
After I lifted it from the water it toppled over, then took a few awkward jumps down the gravel before it stopped, shivering: this was one wet bird. It hunkered in a band of warm sunshine for fifteen minutes or so, and after regaining a bit of dignity flew into a nearby oak tree to groom itself. I wasn’t able to ask how, and likely wouldn’t have received an honest answer anyway.