Of Kabobs And Crows

For Bird Talk magazine’s July issue, I wanted to come up with a fun, edible “playgym.” It had to be something colorful, yet healthy and, of course, easy to make. After perusing the fruit and vegetable department at the grocery store, the idea started to fall into place: cucumber for the base, wooden kabob sticks to hold a selection of sliced vegetables for one side of the gym and a selection of fruit on the other side.

Then it was off to the photo studio. As our team of professional photographers snapped away (yes, even a fruit-and-veggie kabob gets the celebrity treatment of a backdrop, lighting to compliment its best features and a variety of camera angles for that perfect shot), I noticed that something was missing.

“Jessica, what would be really cool is a string of Cheerios tied across the top to give it symmetry and a little more munchable pizzazz,” I said to Bird Talk’s associate editor. (OK, my actual words were probably something more along the lines of “Hey Jessica, do you still have some of those Cheerios you were eating at your desk?”)

Satisfied with the dozen or so photos of the kabob, we called it a wrap. However, we couldn’t bring ourselves to just dump our kabob in the trash, and it wouldn’t survive the entire workday plus long commute home to serve to my flock. I then thought of the crows.

On any given day, there are half a dozen crows landing in the trees outside our office building. I’ve seen them rummage through a McDonald’s bag left in the parking lot, so I figured we’d give them something healthier to sample. We were certain the crows would flock down to our edible playgym. BirdChannel editor, Harry Robbins, Jessica and I gleefully waited nearby to capture some never-before-seen footage of crows eating a one-of-a-kind fruit-and-veggie kabob. We hid behind foliage (OK, so maybe it was just  Jessica and me holding up bouquets of weeds that we pulled and Harry hiding behind a light pole), but not a crow came into sight. We moved the kabob off the dirt median and onto the parking lot to give it more of the “road-kill” appeal crows seem to appreciate. This time we “hid” behind a tree, well, more like a sapling. Apparently, our crows are more of the shy suburban types than the brash city crows that practically steal food from your hand. We finally had to give up our crow photo op. Who knew crows could be so picky?

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