AKA The Birdbath Bashers, AKA The Raucous Ruckus, AKA The Corvid Cartel.
Because they are the sum total of wildlife thus far lured to Fencebroke's aspiring backyard nature preserve. Oh sure, a lost squirrel or ragged stray tabby will skulk across the grounds from time to time, but their steps are furtive and guilty; they know each one is further trespass into the dominion of the crows.
Our old red birdbath is to blame. Once an innocent enough gift to my wife, bestowed in the hope of attracting some spark of life to a freeway dominated ecosystem, this paint-chipped basin has now become the headquarters, day-spa, and mess hall for a cadre of jet-black hooligans. At our previous homes, all manner of cheerful, Disney film songbirds would congregate atop its innocuous pedestal to sip, splash and cavort while our hardened urban hearts melted in delight. I expected nothing less when I deployed the birdbath to Fencebroke North. The paisley bed seemed a good home for it, so I plopped it in the middle, filled it up, and didn't give it another thought.
Until I started finding soggy food scraps in the bowl. Every day.
I'd rinse it out, shake my head, fill it back up and, sure enough, by the next morning, the clean water would once again have turned into some disgusting soup. I was baffled, annoyed, perplexed, until one day I happened to glance outside as a neighborhood crow swooped in from the roof of my shed with a freaking slice of pizza in its beak. It landed in the birdbath (nearly toppling the precarious assembly, designed more for sparrows and chickadees than these buzzards) and proceeded to dunk the pizza, repeatedly, into the water. Mystery solved. My birdbath had become nothing more than a soup bowl for an industrious, dark-winged scavenger.
Thinking this was perhaps a single culprit who had discovered new uses for a common garden ornament, I was prepared to grudgingly accept the crow as a quirky pet/mascot, an embodiment of FPG's unexpected charm. Over the course of several weeks, however, this naïve notion evaporated as more and more offenders cawed and flapped their way onto the scene—a parade of unwelcome guests, each in turn fouling the waters of my daily offering to backyard diversity with crackers, bread slices, donuts and various other dishes which apparently appeal to discerning crows' pallets only when softened in the cool, still waters of a local birdbath. And as for whatever backyard diversity was once to be found, it has now gone into hiding, or moved on to friendlier yards, because it is terrified of the leering murder that has claimed Fencebroke as its own.