Tango Steinke found she had some rowdy neighbors when she first moved into her townhouse in Virginia. She gave the name Doc and Dottie to a pair of crows that settled behind her house and claimed the territory around it.
It was Steinke’s responsibility to befriend the crow couple in the best way she could. Steinke said, “They’d come through randomly, and I’d throw peanuts their way. I was already feeding the other birds and squirrels, so extending the feed to the crows just made sense.”
Food supplies grew sparse throughout the winter, and Doc and Dottie began coming almost every day. When Steinke got inside, they would not approach me but instead, go eat the peanuts. According to Steinke, over the course of that first month of regular visits, they became more vocal about their arrival. They’d caw at her bedroom window on the weekends until she got up to feed them.
@tangobird They couldn’t carry it all themselves #corvid #crow #crowtok #birdwatchinggoesbothways #bird #crowfriends #fyp #foryou #crowvid #crowtiktok ♬ original sound – Tango
The crows decided to express their appreciation for saving them from the winter by providing them with food. On the perch, Steinke found a weathered gray pebble.
To share it with everyone, Steinke stated, “I had gone out to feed, and when I saw it, ran for my camera”. “Since then, they’ve left varied gifts: a button, acorns, bits of metal, a beat-up marble, pottery scraps, and soda tabs. Usually, around once a month, I’ll find something in the feeder from them,” she continued.
The gifts Doc and Dottie brought weren’t the only things they brought. During feeding time last spring, a baby crow arrived. In recent years, the Steinke family has become more than just Steinke’s neighbors.
@tangobird Crows are amazing. #crowtiktok #corvid #crow #crowtok #birdwatchinggoesbothways #freemoney #fyp #foryou #birdtok #crowtok ♬ original sound – Tango
The crows feeding in Steinke’s yard have become more than just crows. In the mornings, they follow us to the bus stop, they hang out on the playground, and most importantly, they sound the alarm if one of her kids falls. She added, “I don’t know if they are just protecting them or if they don’t trust me to parent them. But they’re never very far away when we go outside.” It has taken her two years to gain the trust of the crows and to show them that she will do the same for them if they ever need it.
@tangobird I finally had to tell them #PUBGMOBILE #crows #corvid #birdwatchinggoesbothways #fyp #crowtiktok #newfriends #birds ♬ original sound – Tango
In the end, that may be the greatest gift she has ever received: learning to “recognize and respect their personhood.” Have you been in the same situation? Share with us your story in the space below.