By Sarah Toce

There’s something adorably entertaining happening right now over at Sit N’Stay Pet Sitting in Burien – and it involves some black-clawed flying creatures – CROWS!

This licensed, bonded and insured Burien-based business, owned by Brittany Shelton, is going to the birds – and her friends and followers on social media have a front row seat.

It all started on May 19, 2020 when Shelton found a Nestling Crow that had fallen out of its nest into her RV yard. She named him Raven and cared for him under the watchful eyes of his parents, who ultimately allowed him to flourish under Shelton’s care via a hanging plant basket attached to a tree.

Shelton shared on Instagram, “He’s recognizing us, eager to eat and making his caw noises! We swear he even shook his little tail feathers with joy today!” She added, “His mom and dad stay close and seem to approve of our efforts!”

 

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We found a Nestling Crow yesterday that fell out of his nest into our RV yard. 🦅 We’ve been caring for him and, after his Mom and Dad realized we weren’t going to harm him, they’ve been watching us. We didn’t have a safe place to put him close to where he fell so, we constructed a nest in a hanging plant basket and placed it in the tree. He’s recognizing us, eager to eat and making his caw noises! We swear he even shook his little tail feathers with joy today! 💗 He’s enjoyed some mash, mealworms, earthworms and boiled egg! We’ve named him Raven and will keep him safe until he’s ready to fly! His mom and dad stay close and seem to approve of our efforts!

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A few days later, on May 22, 2020, Shelton shared, “He’s doing really well! Yesterday, I got him a couple bigger nests so he can move around more. He seemed to like the new setup. But, he needs to be able to stretch his little bird legs and walk around. So, when I get home today, we are going to set up a big box for him in the yard like a playpen that way he can hang in there during the day then, return to his hanging basket in the tree at night to keep him safe from predators. He acted pretty excited and said maybe his parents could visit him in the box. I told him I know they will! They are liking our ‘crow-parenting’ situation.”

Shelton continued her crow-parenting success with Raven on May 24, 2020 where she wrote, “Raven made his first big ‘hop’ onto my knee and he also worked on getting his balance and gaining confidence in a perched position.”

Shelton said she noticed that body language was a large factor in Raven’s communication. “For instance, he gets yard time each feeding and he will listen intently to his family caw cawing above. He’ll stretch out his little neck, his feet will do a quick tippy tap, then he’ll propel himself forward in a hop as if he’s about to take flight. It seems they are cheering him on, as are we.” She continued, “My hope is that he will be a bilingual freebird.”

“This is such a cool journey we’re taking with him right now and I’ve got to wonder about [its] significance,” she continued. “I believe paths are crossed for a reason. Might break out the Tarot cards tonight and see if anything comes to light. Can’t wait to see what unfolds with him tomorrow!”

 

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Day 6 Ohhhmy! We had big progress today! 💗 Raven made his first big “hop” onto my knee and he also worked on getting his balance and gaining confidence in a perched position. He used his feet to transfer from my hand to Barry’s and vice versa. He also made his very first CAW! in big boy tone! 🎶🎶 Raven’s family is getting closer and hung out in the tree right above us while we fed him and he practiced his bird stuff (see last pic).🌲 We’re noticing so much about his body language and ways of communicating. For instance, he gets yard time each feeding and he will listen intently to his family cawcawing above. He’ll stretch out his little neck, his feet will do a quick tippy tap, then he’ll propel himself forward in a hop as if he’s about to take flight. It seems they are cheering him on, as are we. He also is quite demonstrative when he’s had enough food. He’ll turn his head away in an almost sassy way. I sat with him a good amount of time this morning talking to him and ruminating on what a huge experience this is. He’s so engaged! Most people will never get to foster this type of an interaction and, dare I say, bond with a wild animal. I’m drinking in every moment trying to balance between doting on him and also making sure he stays in tune with his avian heritage. My hope is that he will be a bilingual freebird 😂 if you’ve been following my IG for a while, you know I’ve had other crazy wildlife encounters, and many with crows. This is such a cool journey we’re taking with him right now and I’ve got to wonder about it’s significance. I believe paths are crossed for a reason. Might break out the Tarot cards tonight and see if anything comes to light. Can’t wait to see what unfolds with him tomorrow!❤️🦅

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Trust us, we want to hear what the Tarot cards said, too! In the meantime, this crow’s journey continued on May 25, 2020 with Shelton.

“It’s amazing how intuitive animals are. I’ve been a little sad today and, not only have my dogs tried to help me feel better, so has this little guy,” Shelton wrote. “He looks up at me and makes the slightest little coos while I talk to him like he understands human hardships. His family has been hanging out on the fence and the neighboring roof. When I arrived home from seeing clients this am they didn’t fly off immediately, either. They must be getting used to our routines.”

She added, “One of my clients gave me a large, galvanized bucket today to put him in. It’s wide and will provide him ample room to move about. Also, it’s a bit deeper so I don’t stay up at night worried he’s unintentionally leapt out of his nest and fallen to the ground. Yes….that thought has kept me awake with worry the past several nights.”

 

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Day 7 It rained a lot today but Raven didn’t mind. 🌧️ It’s amazing how intuitive animals are. I’ve been a little sad today and, not only have my dogs tried to help me feel better, so has this little guy. He looks up at me and makes the slightest little coos while I talk to him like he understands human hardships 😂 His family has been hanging out on the fence and the neighboring roof. When I arrived home from seeing clients this am they didn’t fly off immediately, either. They must be getting used to our routines. One of my clients gave me a large, galvanized bucket today to put him in. It’s wide and will provide him ample room to move about. Also, it’s a bit deeper so I don’t stay up at night worried he’s unintentionally leapt out of his nest and fallen to the ground. Yes….that thought has kept me awake with worry the past several nights. He has started nuzzling, working his way up to the nape of my neck or settling in on my chest. He’s getting pretty confident with his ability to balance and hop! Crazy how much love we have for him already! Hoping for a nicer day tomorrow so he can have more exploration time in the yard. 🦅❤️

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Raven soon started to forage for his own food – a huge milestone.

“Raven had a big day of firsts! His initial big victory came when he began slightly pecking at the ground and the he picked up the tiniest pinecone with his mouth! This shows he’s starting to learn to forage!” Shelton wrote. “Then, later in the afternoon, I decided to sit on a large rock across the yard so he would have to walk over to me. He made quick progress before he was faced with a bag of soil as an obstacle. I clicked, and before I knew it, he had hopped on the bag and used his wings for balance. Then, he came to me at the rock and I could see him psyching himself up for this, the biggest of all leaps he’s made. He rocked back and forth, stretch out his little neck out, stood up tall and HOP! He cleared it and he puffed out his little chest while we clapped for him like he knew he just did something very cool!”

 

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Day 8 I woke up early this morning eager to see how Raven liked his new nest setup. 🐣He greeted me, mouth agape, ready to eat! He hadn’t pottied in his nest , which was nice and tells me he likely had a restful sleep.💤 Mom (or dad) watched his morning feeding intently without even a peep and I’m hoping that means they feel I need less guidance in his care 😂Raven had a big day of firsts! His initial big victory came when he began slightly pecking at the ground and the he picked up the tiniest pinecone with his mouth! This shows he’s starting to learn to forage!💗💗 Then, later in the afternoon, I decided to sit on a large rock across the yardso he would have to walk over to me. He made quick progress before he was faced with a bag of soil as an obstacle. I clicked, and before I knew it, he had hopped on the bag and used his wings for balance. Then, he came to me at the rock and I could see him psyching himself up for this, the biggest of all leaps he’s made. He rocked back and forth, stretch out his little neck out, stood up tall and HOP! He cleared it and he puffed out his little chest while we clapped for him like he knew he just did something very cool! I’ve been clicking to train him, much Iike I do for dogs and horses. He’s picking up that six quick clicks mean for him to “come”. I’ve been using this to encourage him and also calling out what he’s doing when he does it (like “hop” or “ready to eat”) so he begins to learn word association and phrases. While we sat on the rock and were talking, I was mentioning to him I hadn’t seen much of his crow posse since this morning when, out of the blue, the three of them came swooping in Cawing up a storm. (You can see this in the video on FB) His little head cocked side to side and my heart sang. I love that his family is staying near and I hope we’re doing them proud in our care for him!❤️🦅

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Apparently birds “pant” in the sun just like other animals, something Shelton had no idea about before meeting Raven.

“I quickly googled it and discovered he was a little too hot which, makes sense, due to our increased temps,” she wrote on May 27, 2020. “So, I soaked a shredded t-shirt and draped it over him, then tucked him back under the canopy of the tree.”

She added, “It’s so beautiful watching his personality develop and exploring all his firsts. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to set him up a little bird bath. Can’t wait to see what adventures unfold!”

 

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Day 9 Eek I’m late on posting an update tonight! I’ll make another post with a video showing how Raven felt about my tardiness today (que bird tantrum). 😂 Well, it seems like everyday I learn something new in birdland…today’s tidbit: birds “pant”. 🤓 Raven freaked the shit out of me this afternoon as he meandered the yard with his mouth hung open as if in a perpetual quest for food. I quickly googled it and discovered he was a little too hot which, makes sense, due to our increased temps. So, I soaked a shredded tshirt and draped it over him, then tucked him back under the canopy of the tree. Then, this evening, we had to run to Lowe’s to pick up some finishing items for the contractors (we’re undergoing and addition and full home renovation). Needless to say, we were gone longer than expected and Raven missed a feeding. When we returned, we immediately went to feed him and Baby Boy threw a full on tantrum. 😵 We’d bought him suet with berries and I hoped it would be a peace offering. ✌️ While he gobbled it up, he showed his disdain for our absence and actually spit out what I was trying to feed him in protest. You can see in the video how obstinate he’s being 😂😂😂 He also got a good beak wipe down and seemed to really relish his duck paté that he ate for the morning. It’s so beautiful watching his personality develop and exploring all his firsts. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to set him up a little bird bath. Can’t wait to see what adventures unfold! ❤️🦅 #raventhecrow #corvid #babycrow #rescuebird

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Raven, ever the child, threw a little tantrum next. He also enjoyed his first-ever human-made bird bath. “He dipped his beak in and splashed about, turning around and, occasionally, losing his footing on the slick plate. I let him play until he was done, then he hopped out on his own and shook his body from the top of his beak to the last tail feather,” she wrote.

 

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Raven throws a tantrum 😂😂

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Day 10 *videos in comments and posted separately* 🎶Splish, splash! He took his first bath!🎶 I was astonished this morning when I saw Raven and noticed how many of his big boy feathers had bloomed overnight! Longer feathers means accidental dragging through his 💩 so, little man needed a bath today. When I got home from work, I set him up with a turkey saucer and filled it with water. He’s been getting wipes down with a cloth so I was super excited to see how he liked it! I set him in and he took to it like a duck!🦆 💦 He dipped his beak in and splashed about, turning around and, occasionally, loosing his footing on the slick plate. I let him play until he was done, then he hopped out on his own and shook his body from the top of his beak to the last tail feather.🛀 He looks around THEN hopped back to his bath and took his first sips of water on his own!! Omg it was so amazing to see him use his little tongue! I settled him back into his nest to nap and reveled in his new abilities. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get more awesome, I returned an hour later to feed him and he was perched ON TOP OF HIS NESTING BASKET! Holy shit, Raven! I’m excited he used his legs to jump so high and at the same time rushing over to catch him should he lose his balance. He must have sensed my fear because he started flapping away, showing off with his mouth open, begging to be fed. 😂😂 He’s such a character! He’s started doing this funny thing every evening where he balances (awkwardly) on my hand, walks up to my shoulder and nuzzles. He only does this in the evenings and I like to think he’s showing affection for the care he’s getting. 😍 We sure do love him! I added some foil strips to his basket handle and hope he likes them. As we move back into the house, I’m sure I’ll find my Mardis Gras beads. But, for now, foil it is. Tommorow holds a whole host of firsts and we can’t wait to share them with you! ❤️🦅 #raventhecrow #corvid #rescuebird #babycrow

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Raven began roaming the RV yard more independently on May 28, 2020 and became obsessed with his independence. So much so, he even took his own bath without coaxing!

“Last night, he leapt out of his nest as I was putting him to bed,” Shelton posted. “After a stern talking to, and letting him know it was time for beddie bye, he was tucked back in.”

 

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Day 11 I’m late again because… joys of renovations! 😂 Raven had a great day! 🥳 Last night, he leapt out of his nest as I was putting him to bed. After a stern talking to, and letting him know it was time for beddie bye, he was tucked back in. 😴 This morning, he was super antsy and, I thought to myself, I have to let him out of his nest for longer periods of time than he gets during his feedings. So, with that, I reconciled to let him have free roam of the RV yard.😰 I double checked for any areas he could get under the fence, gave him fresh “bath” water and made sure Barry understood no dogs in the RV yard and all gates must remain closed. With that, I left him in his daddy’s care and went to work…. Crying the whole way to my first client. When I returned home, he was perched on his rock and, upon seeing me, his mouth sprung open, ready to eat! Barry said he also noticed his mom hanging around which was the hope given he was having more yard time and less time in the tree. That made me happy! 😊 I even caught him taking a bath on his own!💗💗💗He is finishing out the day with his newfound freedom and soon, at sundown and after a final meal, I’ll tuck my independent boy into bed eager to see what is in store for tomorrow. Love my Raven angel! ❤️🦅 #raventhecrow #corvidsofinstagram #rescuebird #babycrow

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When it rains it pours! At least in the Pacific Northwest. It was a particularly stormy evening when Shelton made the decision to move the bird inside to keep it warm.

“I feel better knowing he’s not all alone in the pouring rain with nothing to keep him warm and dry,” she wrote. “I know they endure in the wild but, this is more for my peace of mind and he’s allowed to be a little spoiled.”

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Day 12 Thunder and lightening! Very, very frightening! ⛈️⛈️⛈️ Today was an unusually stormy day in Seattle complete with thunder and lightening, a rarity for these parts. This Austin girl doesn't mind them one bit, though! Due to the weather, and my having a wicked migraine, we didn't do much. 🤕 Raven spent most of the day in his nest with only a brief period of putzing around the yard nibbling on mini pinecones and blades of grass. His mom was perched in her normal spot on the fence, watching over him but, when the hard rain came, she sought refuge and we didn't see her the majority of the day. This evening, in true anthropomorphic fashion, I felt bad for my soaking wet baby, so Barry made a fresh nest and put him in the warm RV until tomorrow. I feel better knowing he's not all alone in the pouring rain with nothing to keep him warm and dry. I know they endure in the wild but, this is more for my peace of mind and he's allowed to be a little spoiled. Today he tried tripe and loved it! He makes the cutest little noises when he eats! Nom, nom, nom! I'm hoping it's a little nicer tomorrow and I feel better so I can get in some quality time. ❤️🦅 #raventhecrow #corvid #corvidsofinstagram #babycrow

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Shelton wrote on Day 13, May 31, 2020, “This evening, we encouraged him to eat seed and he pecked at the pile and was able to pick up a couple! We also practiced flying while Mom watched from the neighbor’s tree. I bet she’s as proud of him as we are! We’ve started him on some bird vitamins as well as a dose of ivermectin just to be sure we tackle any potential parasites. He’s getting so big and I can hardly stand how cute he is!”

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Day 13 "I'm a chunky monkey" This morning we came out to a dry and happy Raven ready to chow down! 🍽️ It made me feel better he had the cover from the RV as it rained really hard last night. Barry even set up one of our security cameras so I could keep an eye on him! 😍 The sun came out midmorning and he was granted full access to the yard, which he loved. Throughout the day he bounced in and out of his bath, explored other areas of the yard and even found his way up to perch on one of the bikeseats 😂 He got to try liver today and ate it with gusto! 🤤 This evening, we encouraged him to eat seed and he pecked at the pile and was able to pick up a couple! We also practiced flying while Mom watched from the neighbors tree. I bet she's as proud of him as we are! We've started him on some bird vitamins as well as a dose of ivermectin just to be sure we tackle any potential parasites. He's getting so big and I can hardly stand how cute he is! ❤️🦅

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One day later, Raven took flight for the first time. The following day, Raven scaled the steps of the RV and tried hopping onto bikes in the yard. Shelton was even presented with a stone by her little man – a gift.

“I have an undeniable connection with this sweet creature,” she wrote. “My relationships with animals is one of the coolest parts of my life and this experience is pretty high up on the awesome scale!”

The next several days brought heartache to Shelton as the foster crow she loved so dearly, well, departed.

“I left Raven in the yard after another meal and some bonding time,” she remembered. “I looked over my shoulder at him, standing on his hill of dirt, preening himself. My heart was full. An hour later, upon venturing out to tuck him into his nest and hang him safely from his tree, he was gone. Vanished. No sign of a struggle, my precious boy just GONE.”

She added, “I lament on the last several days with a fractured heart beyond anything I imagined. My emotions echoing into each hour as I try to wrap my head around the sudden loss of a being I came to love so deeply…This past week, I see Raven everywhere I go; he imprinted in me and I on him. We will be endlessly connected and that’s a gift that can never be taken away. Raven, wherever you are, know that my love for you was boundless.”

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I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough Without ever having felt sorry for itself. ~ D. H. Lawrence I am not wild. I lament on the last several days with a fractured heart beyond anything I imagined. My emotions echoing into each hour as I try to wrap my head around the sudden loss of a being I came to love so deeply. Last Tuesday night, at 820pm, I left Raven in the yard after another meal and some bonding time. I looked over my shoulder at him, standing on his hill of dirt, preening himself. My heart was full. An hour later, upon venturing out to tuck him into his nest and hang him safely from his tree, he was gone. Vanished. No sign of a struggle, my precious boy just GONE. Barry and I scoured the yard, flashlights in tow, looking behind every rock, under and inside of things with no trace. My soul splintered and my mind raced "Did we go out too late to put him in his nest, out of the way of predators?" It was about twenty minutes after sundown. "Was he small enough that a cat could have gotten him even though there was no evidence of feathers?" We were grasping at ANYTHING to clue us in to what happened. We searched everywhere, at each turn coming up empty handed. Barry thought maybe he put himself to bed someplace in the yard and he'd come out in the morning but, I knew, deep down… He was gone. There is no way he wouldn't have come running to me, or been begging for food, no matter what time it was. Yet, I held out hope and, the next morning, immediately went back out searching for him. I checked our security cameras, went around to the neighbors yards, the end of the street and around the corner. I looked under the trees, in crevices and anyplace I thought he could have become stuck. Nothing. Raven was not yet able to fly in the sense he could have launched over a nine foot fence. He wasn't able to feed himself. This was not a case of him flying away. Him taking flight is something I could have reconciled but, the not knowing, the wondering if I failed him and his parents by not keeping him safe enough, that drives the pain deep. (CONTINUED)

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Okay, but not so fast. Raven was alive – and he came back on June 26, 2020.

“Everyone! I have amazing news! Raven is alive and well! He came to visit me with his family! I can’t tell you the utter relief and amazement at his return!” she wrote. Also, a new crow on the block was introduced in this post.

“I’d like you to meet Kismet! Barry Mantelli and I have been caring for him since one of my clients found him in a dangerous area and called me to help!” she shared. “After establishing his parents weren’t around and there was no place to safely place him, we rescued him! We’ve had him almost two weeks now and he is thriving. He is much more talkative and demanding than Raven.”

She said she hoped Raven’s parents might adopt Kismet.

“It is not unusual for crows to adopt,” she said. “I don’t know why these babies have entered my life but, I am absolutely fascinated by them and am humbled by their presence. Every day is an adventure!”

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Everyone! I have amazing news! Raven is alive and well! He came to visit me with his family! I can't tell you the utter relief and amazement at his return! 🎉🥳Thank you all for the well wishes when I thought he'd passed. Some reason I couldn't like or comment on the post, but want you all to know I am so grateful for your kind words.❤️❤️❤️ Also, I'd like you to meet Kismet! Barry Mantelli and I have been caring for him since one of my clients found him in a dangerous area and called me to help! After establishing his parents weren't around and there was no place to safely place him, we rescued him! We've had him almost two weeks now and he is thriving. He is much more talkative and demanding than Raven. He enjoys being in tall grass, naps, raspberries and trying new foods! I imagine he will also soon fly away but, until then, I'd love to share his story with you until he departs. Raven's murder has been hanging around and my hope is that they will take Kismet under their wings. It is not unusual for crows to adopt. I don't know why these babies have entered my life but, I am absolutely fascinated by them and am humbled by their presence. Every day is an adventure! ❤️🦅

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Just as with Raven, Shelton worked closely with Kismet to teach the young brave bird how to fly.

“I sat back and, all of a sudden, baby boy took flight and landed on my knee, then, up to my shoulder!” she wrote. “He then leapt to the wheel barrow and kind of biffed but, recovered and tried again. Kismet flew! There’s a bitter sweetness to the air because this means, Kismet is likely to fly the coop soon. This realization is difficult but makes me want to really relish each day with him. He enjoyed hamburger and apples today and has far less quills exposed on his feathers. He was quite proud displaying his new moves!”

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Day 12 As I begin to share Kismet's story, I realize it's inception is a mere three days before Raven departed. This gives me pause, especially due to the exceptional milestones made today. Soooo, Kismet flew today! I spent almost half an hour holding my arm out at a distance spouting "You can do it Kismet!" and "c'mon ! C'mon! Fly, Kismet!' In an effort to encourage flight from his perch on his rock. He swayed, made half attempts, but ultimately failed to make the short leap. I sat back and, all of a sudden, baby boy took flight and landed on my knee, then, up to my shoulder! He then leapt to the wheel barrow and kind of biffed but, recovered and tried again. Kismet flew! There's a bittersweetness to the air because this means, Kismet is likely to fly the coop soon. This realization is difficult but makes me want to really relish each day with him. He enjoyed hamburger and apples today and has far less quills exposed on his feathers. He was quite proud displaying his new moves! It's surreal how incredibly fast they grow up. Tomorrow brings more firsts and, possibly a last. I hope he hangs around. Until then…. ❤️🦅

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Raven and Kismet overlapped for roughly 15 days before Raven initially flew the coop, so to speak. In retrospect and for the purpose of filling in her readers during that traumatic time, Shelton said she compared the two crows constantly.

“I noticed today that Kismet has quite a bit more feathers than Raven did at this stage which, leads me to believe, Kismet is a bit older than Raven is,” she shared. “There are so many similarities in their personalities yet, abundant contrasts and, I find myself trying to adjust for both.”

She added, “Tomorrow I want to hang more shiny things since he is so attracted to them. As far as I’m concerned, the entire RV yard can be Kismet’s oasis!”

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Day 15 A turkey platter is NOT. A bird bath. If you missed it, a live video went up earlier today. It's a bit lengthy, but comical. 🎥❤️ Another beautiful day and good times in the yard!☀️ Day 15 is a bit traumatic for me because it's when Raven took off. If I'd known he had flown away and not thought he'd perished, I'd be less inclined to fear the worst. We sit an hour before Kismet's bedtime and i just want to get through the day hearing his sweet caw just beyond the fence.🥰 I noticed today that Kismet has quite a bit more feathers than Raven did at this stage which, leads me to believe, Kismet is a bit older than Raven is. There are so many similarities in their personalities yet, abundant contrasts and, I find myself trying to adjust for both.🤯 I feel like Kismet should be flying at this stage yet, he spent most of the afternoon hanging out on the cinder blocks. Maybe he felt most comfortable there because they are in direct line with the gate through which we enter and exit. Crows are very in tune with patterns and habits. I need to trust him and his instincts which are much more aligned than my own. He likes showing off, I've dicovered, as evidenced by his full on bath sesh on front if everyone! 😂🛁 He also seems more hungry on hot days than cooler ones. He totally rejected me with some chicken Caesar i offered him this morning leftover from last night but, was alll about some three day wontons 🥟🥟🥟 I kind of like the hunt to find new things he likes! Tomorrow I want to hang more shiny things since he is so attracted to them. As far as I'm concerned, the entire RV yard can be Kismet's oasis! If you have ideas on things to intrigue him, please share! ❤️🦅

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Raven and Kismet began interweaving in one another’s lives even more on July 1, 2020.

“This morning, I caught Raven’s Dad hanging out on the RV,” Shelton wrote. “That’s the first time I’ve seen them actually IN the yard and not watching from afar or on the fence. It’s exciting to have them so interested in him. It kind of makes me feel special to think these two crows we’ve raised might share the same family! I wonder if they would communicate their experiences with each other.”

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Day 17 Peanut Butter Jelly Time! Kismet had a great day! This morning, I caught Raven's Dad hanging out on the RV. That's the first time I've seen them actually IN the yard and not watching from afar or on the fence. It's exciting to have them so interested in him. It kind of makes me feel special to think these two crows we've raised might share the same family! 🥰 I wonder if they would communicate their experiences with each other. 🤔 Kismet was talkative today and it made me think he might be a little bored so, I'm going to look at making him some puzzles. I was going to do a foraging box but, he has the entire back yard for that. I put out some shiny toys yesterday and he seems to have played with the shiny cat ball the most. He had a big day overall! We practiced flying and he banked off the fence and back to the ground! It spooked him a little. Barry pushes his limits more than I do. I'm always afraid he'll get hurt. He's still struggling with control, elevation, and duration but we'll keep working with him! I saw him hop onto the bird bath and he couldn't do that yesterday. He also had his first taste of peanut butter! It was Adams brand, peanuts only, and he really was into it! I combined it with his Berry suet to make a knd of PB&J for him 😂 But, the most exciting thing of all was, he fed himself for the first time! I've been scattering peanuts and bird seed to encourage the other crows to come and hang with him and also so he can practice eating. It wasn't until I placed egg yoke on his hill did he start to peck at it and toss it back. Oh JOY! We still feed him every couple of hours but now, we'll be able to start to taper that and leave his food out for him in addition to his foraging. Baby boy is growing up! ❤️🦅

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As if things couldn’t get any cuter with Kismet, this happened:

“He’s so needy but, when he’s ready to be independent, he basically turns his back and waddles off,” Shelton wrote. “I can always tell if he’s cool with me leaving him when he doesn’t chase me as I walk to the gate. We have that understanding and when he needs to bird, I let him.”

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Day 18 A shoelace, a smorgasbord and a garbage can Ohhhh Kismet! 🥰 Lots of laughs were had with this little man today! We started our day a bit earlier than normal. I always have the first feeding before leaving for work and then Barry takes over until I get home. Kismet was bright eyed and bushy tailed when I entered the yard this morning. He serenaded me with CAW! CAW! as I sprayed his kitty deterring essential oils around the yard and on the fence. I let him out and he had a quick couple bites of egg then went off to explore. As I drove down our private drive upon arriving home, I could hear him from the top of the street, calling for his food. Kismet is used to the sound of my car, my walk, my voice… Everything. Rarely can I pass that boys gate without him beckoning me. 😂 Naturally, I oblige. I ran in the house, grabbed him some food and ran out to serve him. As I swung open the gate, I heard CAW! CAW! and was met with flapping wings! Baby Boy had flown onto the yard waste can and was waiting! He gobbled up his food like it was the first meal he'd had in days. 🤤😋 Once he was done, he started playing with my shoelace. I immediately took it out and gave it to him. He dragged it all over the yard which was exceptionally adorable. ❤️ Later, I brought him out a whole egg, with shell, halved. I'd noticed he's been pecking at the peanuts I'd put in the dry birdbath. So, I placed some seed and his egg in there. He went to town pecking, picking things up and trying to pull apart his egg. I don't think he knew what to do with so many food options! He seems to like eating from there, so I figure that will be his new food table. Once he was done, he flew to the filled bath and dipped his toes, then flew onto the ground and showed me how he could scale the tarp covering some gardening supplies. He's so needy but, when he's ready to be independent, he basically turns his back and waddles off. 🥱 I can always tell if he's cool with me leaving him when he doesn't chase me as I walk to the gate. We have that understanding and when he needs to bird, I let him. It makes me happy to see him grow and explore! ❤️🦅

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Speaking of letting him bird, Kismet decided it was time to fly – and return with gifts for his adopted mom.

Shelton shared, “Guess who stayed out late and was waiting for me this morning?! KISMET! His first night as a big boy on his own! I walked out this morning and he cawed at me then flew onto my head. My heart is sooo full he returned!”

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Days 19-23 Kismet flies the coop, then He comes bearing gifts *I've done a couple live updates so, if you've not seen them, you can catch up on FB* Friday: Kismet flew over the fence when I called him! Nope, I didn't train him! There's a video on FB if you haven't seen it yet! Saturday: Kismet stayed overnight in his kennel but, during the day, he flew over the fence multiple times, hung out with Raven's family and his new thing is knocking on the front door and waiting for us on the porch! 😂 Sunday: Kismet flew the coop. I was devastated, drove around looking for him (which is harder than I expected because …he's a bird 🤦) and got pretty sick when I couldn't find him. It was a little too deja vu, but I knew what to expect. My heart still feels, though. Today: guess who stayed out late and was waiting for me this morning?! KISMET! His first night as a big boy on his own! I walked out this morning and he cawed at me then flew onto my head. My heart is sooo full he returned! 💗💗💗He also had a little bird party in his yard today, hanging with the crows and the chickadees. I'm noticing a lot more birds around ! Kismet chose to hang out in the yard almost all day. I wonder if, tonight, he'll find a place in the yard to sleep or go back to wherever he was last night. I'm going to spy on him to see 🤫😂 He also brought several gifts today: some white flowers, a piece of white fabric and his usual foil and shoestring. He's so adorable! *This is him sleeping beside me as I write this. I love he feels comfortable enough to be so vulnerable with me 🥰

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So, what have we learned through these foster and adoption stories herein? Well, the first lesson learned is that Brittany Shelton is a pretty cool cat we’d like to keep following for a while. The second thing is that crows are curious creatures we never quite gave enough credit to in the first place! Won’t be making that mistake again! CAW!

Learn more about Brittany Shelton and her company Sit N’Stay Pet Sitting.

Sarah Toce is a screenwriter and journalist whose bylines include: CSPAN, Raw Story, Alternet, New Civil Rights Movement, Windy City Times, Hollywood News Feed, and others. Twitter/Instagram: @SarahToce.