Crowfest is coming to Chatham-Kent, and if the crows of yesteryear could see what’s slated to take place, they would definitely be shaking their heads.
Once regarded as public enemy number one locally, the clever birds now have their very own celebration.
The times, they are a’changing.
Hosting a crow-themed festival is almost revolutionary when compared to how the birds used to be treated.
With its bountiful cornfields, Chatham-Kent has long been a place for crows to roost in winter months.
Some media reports say that as many as two million crows call Chatham home in the winter months and at one point the municipality was paying a contractor $57,000 a year to shoo them away.
There was even a dedicated crow hotline. A contest was once held to kill the highest number of crows!
The birds would tear through garbage bags tossed at the curb by Chatham residents as they feasted on whatever was on the menu under the plastic. Head down a street two hours after sunrise on a cold fall morning and it looked more like a street in New York in the 1970s than Chatham.
But even though they were chased, hunted, tricked and harassed, the crow stuck around, much the same as it’s been doing for hundreds of years.
Maybe they thought it was a game.
The municipality abandoned its crow control efforts in 2013 and with better garbage containment, it seems the birds aren’t as big of a menace.
A quick Google search reveals that crows have the largest brain to body ratio in the avian world, and that ratio is even greater than that of humans.
They can also make tools, complete complex tasks and recognize faces.
So maybe the time is right for Crowfest. Let’s celebrate the brainy bird, hold events for the whole family, bring in diverse entertainment.
There’s no telling what the future holds if the event takes off.
Might the future be brighter and better? Maybe we’ll see performances by Black Crowes, Counting Crows or even Sheryl Crow?