On March 30, 2015, a solitary crow perched in a pine tree and cooed for several minutes. I’d never watched a crow do that before, so made a short video recording. The bird appeared to be calling for companionship.


Yasugawa Sports Park in Ritto City (滋賀県 栗東市 野洲川運動公園) includes a small grove of tall pine trees. Many birds gather here, including quite a few crows. Sometimes the crows are very noisy, but I did not hear any other crows nearby when I made the video recording.

Technical note

At that time I was trying to take photos of other birds with a micro four-thirds camera (Olympus OM-D E-M5 II) and a 300mm telephoto lens. As the unusual sound caught my attention, I just focused on the crow and pressed the video record button. With exposure set for stills (1/250 or 1/320 sec at f8), I made no attempt to create a more “cinematic” look with a slower shutter speed. Also, I had no external audio recorder or microphone. Fortunately, the camera was already mounted on a tripod and there was no wind. When I edited the video with OpenShot, I trimmed a few seconds off the end of the clip and added titles. No other processing was done.

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University. I have retired from full-time service (1977-2014) and now offer weekly lectures in interpersonal and intercultural communication. Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

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