A murder of crows

I’m not big on collective nouns; I’ve never heard anyone, in normal conversation, refer to a fluther of jellyfish, a puddling of mallards or a bloat of hippopotamuses. They always feel a bit forced and “aren’t I clever?”, basic trivia night fodder. But one that always seems entirely appropriate and completely unforced is “a murder of crows”.

The Wife took Jambo up the night-soil lane on his walk the other morning. At the end, near Bates Street, there’s  a mandarin tree and every year at this time it attracts flocks of sulphur-crested cockatoos. They tear off the unripened fruit (perfect size for a talon) and reel around the fence, squawking and giggling like Year 9 boys who’ve broken into the school tuckshop.

But, reported The Wife, a little further along was another group of birds. The crows.


This guy, all on his own, does not look very menacing. But recently Jambo and I have had a 20-strong mob of them circling and cawing and swooping around above our heads. It’s deeply unnerving. Murder feels possible, almost inevitable.

There was murder, this morning. One less sulphur-crested to mangle the mandarins. (And there goes Old Mate, off down the creek for his morning constitutional.)


Which allows me to link, rather unconvincingly, to my own constitutionals. I was pleased to see that H-Foot is still getting out and about. This sign belongs to a water tank that appeared in the gasworks weeks ago. It hasn’t moved but is gradually being plucked at, bent, tweaked and generally knocked about by the Night Walkers. Maybe H-Foot is transforming his/her-self into a pedestrianised Judge Dredd. That’d be something to see.


We were going to go out for a constitutional, me and old H-Foot, but it never came off. I don’t really mind; if it’s meant to happen then, one day, it will.

You out there, H-Foot?

5 Responses to A murder of crows

  1. Jane Garrick says:

    Thought this was appropriately funny.

  2. NJK says:

    Hmm, I see those birds as well, but I don’t think they are sulphur-crested cockatoos. Take a closer look at them…Like the ones that sit on the power lines at the roundabout just before the train bridge going through to Kotara, they often get mistaken for cockatoos but I’m pretty sure they’re actually corellas or some other cockatoo/galah species!

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Nope, been back for a few looks and the ones I’m seeing are DEFINITELY sulphur-cresteds (or, as my son mistakenly called them once, self-raising cockatoos).

  3. ajscully says:

    I googled h-foot and found your blog! I wondered who or what h-foot is/was after I Instagrammed this poster/sticker are at Hamilton TAFE http://instagram.com/p/haDlb-xEgo/ Glad I found your blog

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Hi Anthony

      The Hunter’s loss is Melbourne’s gain: H-Foot temporarily relocated south of the border a wee while back, unless he’s returned …

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