The crow with broken wings. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Sharjah: In a heartening case, an injured crow is being taken care of by humans as well as other birds who drop off food daily at a non-descript roundabout here where it can be seen limping about.

Lebanese expat Musbah Ali Lahib, 67, is one of the crow’s friends who regulary visits the bird. He said the crow — which has not been given a name — was spotted limping one day near Al Mirgab Street, between Al Qadisiya and Sharqan roads. “Every day, people drop off some food. Other crows also come to visit their sick friend and drop off food. It is beautiful to see how a community is coming together to help this lame bird,” said Lahib.

‘His friends come down to talk to him’

Lahib said that most of the time the crow is seen on the pavement near the roundabout on the grassy patch; sometimes it slowly crosses the road. “I just fear that it may get run over; I hope that does not happen.”

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Other birds are sometimes seen keeping the injured crow company. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Lahib added: “We don’t think the bird will ever fly again, but it looks fine otherwise. It does not look distressed; it’s just that the bird is not able to fly away. But his friends come down and talk to him. And people come to see if it is ok.”

‘Crows can eat anything’

For the record, crows eat a wide variety of food. Dr Sara Elliott from British Veterinary Hospital said: “Crows are opportunistic eaters. They can practically eat anything. Their dietary restrictions are fairly minimal and they can eat many things like seeds, grains, mice, dead animals, small fish, reptiles and even other birds.”

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Lebanese expatriate Musbah Ali Lahib keeps some water for the crow. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Elliott said the bird is better off where it is now, if it is not in any health danger. “Birds have very powerful muscles with their wings. If they lose the muscular power then it is likely that the bird will never fly again.”

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Residents leave food leftovers for the crow to feed on. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

She added: “Bird flight is primarily powered by the pectoralis muscles that move the humerus bone of the wing around the shoulder. To produce sufficient aerodynamic power to sustain flight, avian flight muscles need to continuously contract at high frequencies with substantial work and with high energy costs.”

Word of caution

Dr Elliott cautioned against any harm to injured birds. “Sometimes, birds can die from capture-stress. It is best to leave them to their parents or call a vet for help. Don’t rush to pick it up.”

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She explained that when people go to help the birds, the parents of the bird are afraid to touch their baby. “In this situation, it is fine as the crow seems to be fine by itself. It is fine to drop it some food. Crows are also very intelligent birds. They tame themselves around humans, especially when they need food. So it is safe in that sense. Crows are a strong herd. So I am not surprised other crows come around to feed this injured bird. It is amazing to see this.”