pühapäev, veebruar 18, 2007

Spooky Tartu

The other day I was walking the wrong way up Riia Tänav, eating a Mesikäpp chocolate bar when a mysterious black form swooped down before my eyes, perching itself on a nearby fence to stare longingly at my tasty afternoon treat.

It was a crow, or vares, and he was soon joined by two of his friends. "Caw caw," they said. "Give us some." But there would be no treats for our crow friends because if I fed every crow in Tartu, I'd have to empty the Tartu Kaubamaja Toidupood. There just seems to be thousands of the bastards.

Don't get me wrong, I like birds. But I am ambivalent about crows. They seem to be spooky creatures, perhaps second only to the bat, and in a town like Tartu, covered in old, creaky wooden houses spewing forth murky smoke, they add a certain Hitchcock flavor to the local ambience.

Why are there so many of them here? Do they just hang out in town or can they be found in the local kalmistu also? I know that Tartu is home to all sorts of local crazy people, including rappers, poets, and bird watchers too. Maybe one of you can explain for me miks Tartus on nii palju vareseid?

9 kommentaari:

notsu ütles ...

Sure that it was a _vares_, not a _hakk_ (jackdaw)? I have very seldom seen a real crow here (and when I did, I felt a pang of Tallinn-nostalgie), but jackdaw could be a symbol of Tartu. Smaller than crows, live in colonies.
A picture of hakk:
http://www.birdsofbritain.co.uk/bird-guide/jackdaw.htm
and vares:
http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/species/Corvus_corone.htm

Trulla ütles ...

Giustino, you've watched too many horror movies :D. (Dark shadowy crows lurking in cemeteries and ripping your guts out if you'd refuse to share your Mesikäpp bar :P.)

LOL

I think crows are actually very intelligent birds (e.g. compared with town-pidgeons). We've raised one at home and he was a loyal friend.

Maarja ütles ...

And there are not only crows and jackdaws (the latter flock together in autumn, hundreds of them flying around in Tartu, that's spooky!), but also rooks (künnivares)
http://bio.edu.ee/loomad/Linnud/CORFRU2.htm that are black and shiny and live in the graveyards and on Toomemägi. And they are proud (or dont care about Mesikäpp) and dont beg food, like jackdaws do.

plasma-jack ütles ...

..and they don't eat corpses, but worms (that might feed on corpses, though).

I like jackdaws, they look very elegant and smart. Was it truth or fiction that they could pronounce a few words if domesticated?

Flasher T ütles ...

Next time you see one, ask him to say "Nevermore". If he does, I think that would deserve a half a Mesikäpp...

notsu ütles ...

Rooks live also in colonies, but now they are somewhere in south - they are migratory. In spring they will be back.

Trulla ütles ...

The question miks on Tartus nii palju vareseid? might be answered with another question: why were there so many seagulls at the place you lived before moving to Estonia? The answer might simply be that as the place was a good habitat for the seagulls where they could easily find lots of food, the same is true about the crows and jackdaws in Tartu. People here don't trouble or hunt them down too much and here's plenty of easy-to-get food around and many suitable places for nesting in such a green small town as Tartu is.

kerho ukkonen ütles ...

That's intresting about Tartu and the crows. My home is across the water from Estonia, in the coastal city of Kotka, and we have crows by the thousands. They do have this Edgar Allan Poeish quality in them but like trulla and others pointed out, they are very intelligent. I remember especially one farm crow/pet, Jaakko, who scored consistentley higher than your truly in IQ tests.

KRISTIN ütles ...

Vareseid on palju vist küll kogu Eestis (jumal teab, kindel ei ole), aga Tallinnas on neid samuti palju. Varem elasin Nõmmel ja talviti, eriti õhtul, oli vastas-mets neid kubinal täis ja nad kõik kraaksusid küllalt hirmuäratavalt, aga midagi jube vahvat oli selles ka... Ma olen nõus eelkõnelejatega, kes varest väga intelligentseks peavad, ta ongi! Mul (nagu ka mu isal kunagi) oli päris oma vares, ju tal midagi viga oli, lennata ta ei saanud, aga käis mul aias kannul nagu koer ja kui pingile istusin ja jala üle teise tõstsin, siis hüppas ta õhusolevale jalale ja istus seal. Mingit hirmuvarjugi polnud tal inimeste suhtes. Nagu võrdne võrdsetega.
Vares on mu lemmiklind.