A Clearwater family has a new and noisy member – George the crow.
“It started several weeks ago,” recalled Kurtis Elliot. “I found him at Evergreen Acres while I was mowing the grass.”
Elliot first discovered what appeared to be the crow’s two siblings already dead. They appeared to have been taken from the nest and killed by something.
George, as he was later called, was hiding in the bushes nearby.
“He had just got most of his feathers, he was that young,” Elliot recalled. “I took him home and we started hand-feeding him.”
After feeding him for two or three weeks he was old enough to spend nights outside. However, the bird still kept coming back to be fed – and to check up on what was going on.
“He’s very curious and friendly,” Elliot said. “He’s got quite a personality and he’s not afraid of people at all.”
Far from being “bird-brained,” young crows have an intelligence comparable to an infant’s or young child’s, he said.
“He gets into everything,” he said.
George has formed special relationships with all the family in turn, including Kurtis, his partner Keri Thies, and his daughters Ella Victoria, Hanna Lee and Abigail.
The bird also gets along well with the family’s two dogs and three cats – although there is one cat that is quite bird savvy that Kurtis needs to keep an eye on.
George has found a crow family nearby that has offspring of about his age. He has somehow persuaded the crow mother to feed him as well.
The bird also visits neighbors across the street and a nearby store.
Recently some people found it and, believing it was injured or sick, took it to a ranch near Vavenby.
It took the family a while to find where he had gone and get him back, Elliot said.
They keep the door open so George is free to come and go as he wants, he said.
“We are trying to keep as wild as possible,” he said. “To put him in a cage would be my worst fear.”