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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Diva, an exotic pet crow, lost near Green Spring Gardens

If you see a strange crow-like black bird with white markings on her chest and neck, it could be Diva the Crow, an escaped pet. Please call Catherine, 703/862-5283.

Diva is an African pied crow, who has lived with Catherine near Green Spring Gardens since late July. Diva flew away Saturday morning when Catherine was changing the water in her enclosure. The bird was hatched in June and is still a juvenile, so isn’t adept at landing yet.

Catherine saw her in a tree on Saturday evening but Diva was too scared to come down. She appears to have survived the storm Monday night, as she was spotted yesterday around 1 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens.

Someone also reported hearing her call at about 2-2:30 p.m. two days in a row near Fairland and Montrose streets on the other side of Little River Turnpike.

“She can look a little intimidating but is not dangerous,” says Catherine, a volunteer with the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. If you see her, she might beg for food and might respond to the “Diva, up,” command. “If you are comfortable doing so, please offer her food and then hold her by the strings attached to her ankles and put her in a box,” Catherine advises.

Diva’s favorite food is Fritos and she also enjoys hamburger and French fries, but her regular meal is mice. She’s about a foot tall and weighs about one pound. Her call sounds like a cross between a crow and a goose.

African pied crows are common in Africa but are considered exotics in the United States, although you don’t need a permit to get one.

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