A FEW days ago, I witnessed a terrorist attack, and a tragedy.
It was not a suicide bomber. The perpetrator was a mean, black crow, hell-bent on the slaughter of a clutch of ducklings.
Each spring a mother duck with her babies visit our street. They come into our back yards, where they can enter, to sun themselves, and scratch around for bugs and insects.
On this day we watched them waddling up the road from the rain catchment area where they were nesting. Then we saw this big black shadow dive in amongst them, scattering the ducklings, and trying to take one.
We shooed and shouted, but the crow only hopped away a few feet before persisting in its attack.
It kept harassing them until the distraught mother managed to usher her family of eight into my yard, where they are usually fairly safe, as there is no cat or dog here.
The crow left, but only to a nearby tree, a beady eye still on its prey. After a while, I saw the distressed duck patrolling up on the fence, while the ducklings huddled in the shrubbery, and guessed the crow had returned.
I saw it swoop down to where the duckings were, and with the anxious mother squawking, and me waving a broom, it flew off. Then I saw the little furry body on the path and realized the crow had already made a kill.
We did not see the crow anymore that day, and presumed the birds had made it safely back to their home. They did not come the following morning, or the next.
Today, I saw the mother on the far bank of the sump enclosure, looking at her reflection in the water. She was alone. We are told not to interfere with wildlife. But it needs to be a level playing field.
This may have been a rogue crow, but these scavengers and predators are becoming as prolific as the mosquitoes in this area, and I would like to see some sort of culling or eradication program, like we have for the mozzies.
ENA WILLEMSEN, Mandurah.