aanteekwa (Crow)

aanteekwa (American Crow)
Haley Strass

What follows is a record of a student’s observations from kišiinkwia kiilhswa (July/August 2009) to cecaahkwa kiilhswa (April/May 2010).  Each student was asked to observe one feature (plant, tree, animal, celestial body, or weather phenomena) and its connections to other features.  In addition each student was asked to visually represent these connections by constructing a visual web.

niipinwi neehi teekwaaki (Summer and Fall)

I have aanteekwa as my ecological feature.  I feel that the Burr Oak and the White Oak should go together in my explanation.  I do not know why, but I felt like any time I saw aanteekwa, it was near one of these trees.  Maybe I am crazy, but I feel that these trees are related to aanteekwa.  Also these birds began to act differently when these trees began to change colors and in other ways.  The birds began moving more and just acting out of their norm.  Also, these birds are obviously related to kiilhswa and tipehki kiilhswa because the sun and moon affect any living creature.  Also, aanteekwa seem to thrive in flocks with other crows.  They also tend to follow other birds and animals such as moohswa.  They like to live together in big groups.  They tend to move to these big groups around the time of teekwahkahki.  This is about the same time as the Burr and White Oaks are changing, proving to me that all these things are related.  I typically did not see aanteekwa around the time of ciinkwia.  Maybe aanteekwa doesn’t like ciinkwia, but they are related somehow because they were rarely spotted during this time.

In the fall, kiilhswa is not out as much as spring and summer, which makes the crows less active.  Some aanteekwa migrate toward warmer climates in this time, so there is even a decline in the number of birds.  The ones that do stick around tend to flock together to live.  Now that I think about it, I think maybe ciinkwia and aanteekwa have no relation because there is a decrease in both aanteekwa in fall, but I don’t see aanteekwa during ciinkwia.  I can’t think of a reason other than that as to how they are correlated.

Circle representing the connections Haley observed in 2009

Click here to see the complete web created by the group as well as the translations for all of the words on the circle.

pipoonwi neehi miloohkami (Winter and Spring)

This spring has been very interesting when observing aanteekwa.  I noticed that after that first big “awakening” or whatever you would like to call it, they came back very slowly.  It wasn’t like aantekwa just all of a sudden had a lot of activity.  Their activity level was very gradual and sporadic even at times.  They are now forming in flocks at night, and there can be a lot altogether.  They don’t typically form their flocks; however, around groups of people.  Sometimes, it even looks like they are fighting.  They fight and play, just like humans do, and I find it interesting that they are playful.  I even saw two crows in a tree fighting and they fell out.

I don’t think that aanteekwa kill other birds or even really affect other birds too much, but I have noticed that in the areas that I mainly see aanteekwa, I don’t typically see other types of birds.  I think that when in a bigger group, they look very intimidating, which may be why they scare off other types of birds.  I also noticed that aanteekwa began nesting in February, but I didn’t notice a drastic increase in this activity until about now.  They have been continually, every week, increasing their activity level until even now.

This past week, I discovered that there are some connections between the other ecological components and mine.  Aanteekwa and ciinkwia are very directly related because of spring and warming.  During the nesting of aanteekwa (aanteekwa kiilhswa), was when the first storm arrived.  Also, aayoonseekaahkwi and kiinošiši are related to aanteekwa.  Both these trees have had crows perched in their branches somewhere.  Even though there was only one or two aanteekwa on the branches, this occured at about the same time that their leaves started to bud.  So, the activity level of aanteekwa and the budding of these trees are related.  Finally, there is a potential correlation in activity level of aanteekwa and moohswa.  Jarrid said he hadn’t seen many moohswa on campus until recently, and I haven’t seen many aanteekwa until recently as well.

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