[Editor’s note:  De kauw is known as Corvus monedula, also Coloeus monedul, a black bird  closely related to the crow, magpie and raven.]


November 23, 2018

I have lived my entire life in the Balistraat, where I look out on the Paramaribohofje on the garden side. For a large part of the year, I could observe the social life of about ten kauwfamilies from the conservatory: their pecking order, their quarrels for food, of course, but also the struggle for living spaces, because that’s what this is about. These ‘houses’ were taken away from them by the manager of these courtyards, because the kauwfamilies had just found a shelter in the old chimneys of these buildings. They have already done that for forty years. For decades they sit on the eaves, visit each other’s “houses”, get quarrels, flutter away again, dive into the gardens where a sort of “oligarch” with dilated breast feathers makes clear who is the boss. This piece of nature has disappeared in one go because the manager of the court houses has closed the fire holes with gauze. A sad face: the fluttering families do not understand why they can not come in for their closed litters.

Of course I called the manager, but that came with reasons, which might be correct: like the venting function of these chimneys, although for 40 years apparently it was not disturbed by the kauwfamilies habitation.

The saddest part, however, is the resignation and indifference of all who have looked forward to the family life of this protected species year after year and perhaps have also enjoyed it. Although this is only a mini-case, it does underline that (just accompanied by indifference) a piece of nature is quietly sacrificed on seemingly reasonable considerations.

Petrus C. van Duyne