Nest Watch Extra : A Crow In The Ointment


Unwelcome news, I’m afraid, from our nest. 

Yesterday morning I arrived at work to find two large crows squatting in our magpies’  laboriously constructed nest.  The magpies gamely tried to expel them, but all their flapping and chattering were to no avail.  It’s hard to know whether the crows were aiming to annex the nest for their own use, steal the building materials or eat the eggs (if any), but, apparently, this is a common sight at this time of year – RSPB.

No sign of either magpies or crows since.

Let’s have a poem about crows.  This is by Ted Hughes.


Examination at the Womb-door


Who owns these scrawny little feet?  Death.

Who owns this bristly scorched-looking face?  Death.

Who owns these still-working lungs?  Death.

Who owns this utility coat of muscles?  Death.

Who owns these unspeakable guts?  Death.

Who owns these questionable brains?  Death.

All this messy blood?  Death.

These minimum-efficiency eyes?  Death.

This wicked little tongue?  Death.

This occasional wakefulness?  Death.

Given, stolen, or held pending trial?


Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth?  Death.

Who owns all of space?  Death.

Who is stronger than hope?  Death.

Who is stronger than the will?  Death.

Stronger than love?  Death.

Stronger than life?  Death.

But who is stronger than death?  Me, evidently.

Pass, Crow.


(The volume this is taken from – Crow – has the dedication “In Memory of Assia and Shura”  – Assia being his partner, who had recently gassed herself, alongside their daughter Shura.)

2 thoughts on “Nest Watch Extra : A Crow In The Ointment

    • I omitted the line “Who owns the adorable kitten-wittens in their lovely mittens? DEATH.”

      I thought my younger readers might find it upsetting.

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