At the bottom end of our garden we have a Sycamore tree. In that tree, Mr and Mrs Blackbird live, nesting deep within the ivy that covers the trunk. They have been pestered by the magpies throughout this last year, and yet they still remain living in the tree. The low roof of the extension backs onto the garden, onto which we sometimes leave food for the birds, making it an ideal place for Mr and Mrs Blackbird to nest and raise their young. I have often seen the two of them fly over onto our roof in search of some tasty titbit to take back.
This morning though, I panicked. A predatory black cat had worked its way up into the middle branches of the tree, around the height we think the blackbirds are nesting. As it hungrily scoured the foliage I wanted nothing more than to get rid of that invading cat, to protect the birds and their young.
Then the alarm calls of our local crow sounded. He swooped in, landing on a branch only a few feet away from this cat, shouting for assistance from his avian companions. Seconds passed, with the crow shouting louder and louder, making his presence known.
The cat was eyeing him with suspicion, sizing up its options, when a second crow perched in the branches too, answering the call to arms.
Together, this pair of crows forced the cat down, branch by branch, and out of the tree before it had chance to harm the blackbirds. Once it was back on the ground, they took flight, patrolling the skies around my house, ensuring it was leaving and not just waiting for a chance to return.
Because of their cooperation, the crows had won against the invading cat, with no feathers shed. That, in itself, is wonderful. But more than that, the crows do not nest in the Sycamore, preferring instead to just visit our roof. This act was to protect the smaller, more vulnerable, blackbirds.
Co-existence can, and does, work. This proves it without a doubt. A bonus that the birds have over us, though, is that they do not divide themselves further with religion and ideology. The crows had nothing to directly gain from guarding the Sycamore tree, aside from ensuring the well-being of the blackbirds. It wasn’t to protect the bounteous food source that is our low roof, as all manner of birds use that without disagreement.
It was nothing more than selflessness; heart-warming and irrefutable.