West Seattle author has something to crow about

April 15, 2008 at 3:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, Wildlife, WS culture/arts | 18 Comments

crows1.jpg

Last June, the subject of that unusually colored crow came up in the comments on this post, back when we were still anonymous, so we never let on that it lived practically outside our front door. But now it’s making news again, sort of, as one of the birds mentioned in the upcoming book that made a West Seattle author a finalist for a prestigious prize. Lyanda Lynn Haupt has been honored as a finalist for a 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Prize, on behalf of “Crow Planet” — which one judge said “promises to be a fascinating and original book” giving us a window into the lives of these ubiquitous, yet mysterious, birds. Read the full citation here; more about the author at her website here. Now, as for the particular crow, known at WSB HQ as “the golden crow” (now spending time further east), she says:

Partially albinistic or leucistic crows — birds with white or light patches of feathers — are somewhat common. In albinism, all pigment is lacking; in leucism, some pigment is lacking (feathers are normally colored with layers of pigment, so if one of the color layers is missing, the feathers will be lighter or differently colored). But a fully leucistic crow like “Leucy,” as my 9-year-old daughter calls it, is quite rare. Notice that even the “bare parts” as they are called — the bill, feet, etc. are also light. Very cool bird.

18 Comments

  1. I love this Crow! Used to see it all the time on California & Thistle last year on my way to Target :-) It’s such a pretty bird.

    Comment by shelbi — 5:28 pm April 15, 2008 #

  2. I am not normally much of a birder, but I love this bird too… It is always a treat to see her.

    As for fun bird sightings, I had a crow and a hummingbird playing together in my backyard today. They would both alight on the phone line and when one would take off, so would the other, taking turns, fly around my backyard and land on the phone line again… It was so sweet, it felt like a Labrador playing with a kitten.

    Comment by que — 6:51 pm April 15, 2008 #

  3. That’s Goldie! My family thought I was crazy when I kept telling them about this crow. I would see it just north of Calif/Thistle on my way home from work.

    Comment by Indaknow — 6:58 pm April 15, 2008 #

  4. Stanley!

    Comment by nbp — 8:15 pm April 15, 2008 #

  5. Be sure to watch for “Broken Wing” around the south end of the Junction when he/she is not busy harrassing and blocking the recycling and garbage trucks from leaving Edmunds and 44th. Never knew crows had so much personality until this one showed up. Going on the fourth summer now.

    P.S. your strawberry plants are not safe.

    Comment by fiz — 8:19 pm April 15, 2008 #

  6. C’mon people, that’s “malty”. I know this crow too and she cawed at me once that she prefers to be called “malty”. Don’t ask me why – you can ask her when you see her…

    Comment by JumboJim — 9:25 pm April 15, 2008 #

  7. “Leucy,” “Stanley,” “Goldy” … I love it.

    Comment by *t* — 10:34 pm April 15, 2008 #

  8. We call him/her Pige-crow since it has sort of pigeon coloring and a crow build. It has been so interesting to have a bird that distinctive almost always in the same area. Are other crows as loyal to certain areas? I’ve been worried about Pige-crow since he/she isn’t at Cali & Thistle, I’m glad to know he/she just moved a short distance away.

    Comment by AH — 7:43 am April 16, 2008 #

  9. She’s “Brownie” to me. Not very creative, I know.

    Comment by Jerald — 8:04 am April 16, 2008 #

  10. I love that there is a place (KUDOS to you WSBLOG) where we can all comment on something that we have all enjoyed seeing in our community. How cool is that?? Now I need to try and see that “broken wing”-he sounds like a real rabble-rouser.

    Comment by Indaknow — 9:39 am April 16, 2008 #

  11. if you want to know more about birds, daily at 8:58 AM on KPLU, 88.5 or 88.1 depending on your WS location, they have a 2 minute show called Bird Note and its based on PNW birds. I never miss one!

    Comment by Paul — 11:17 am April 16, 2008 #

  12. She’s part of our family. Her and her mate/kid yell at us every morning. We yell back. And they get plenty of yummy treats. Better than worms.

    :)

    Comment by grr — 12:29 pm April 16, 2008 #

  13. So is that a caw-caphony? (insert rim-shot here)

    Comment by Indaknow — 1:36 pm April 16, 2008 #

  14. I look for my little brown crow on my way to work in the mornings and keep a bit of bread in my car for her.I wonder if she knows how many of us care about her !

    Comment by Jackie Winter — 1:49 pm April 16, 2008 #

  15. I’m gonna have to back off the raw meat I give them tho…they don’t respect my car.

    :)

    Comment by grr — 6:32 pm April 16, 2008 #

  16. I am so glad to see this blog. Now my vanpooling neighsayers can become believers. I think the crow is more of a latte color. BTW, saw a Unicorn in Lincon Park the other day.

    Comment by Linda F. — 7:47 am April 17, 2008 #

  17. Hey Folks, A note from Chicago(Da Windiest City). My fave sister sent me da link to dis here crow ting yoose guys has got goin’ on out dere. Its just toooooo beeeeuuuuteeefool fer werds! I loves God’s little miracles. Go Goldy.

    Comment by Da Kirkster — 4:08 pm April 17, 2008 #

  18. I have seen two leucistic crows in my neighbourhood. One is an adult thats been around here for 20 years and a second one I discovered in my backyard last week; a young one that stood on my hand to eat a cracker. It is actually all light grey and has increible blue eyes. I have excellent pictures of these birds if someone is seriously interested

    Comment by Chris — 9:53 pm May 25, 2008 #

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