The tapping happened a second time so I broke from conversation and looked downwards to pat the furry guy - it was a crow, a juvenile, pecking at my toes.
I had no idea where it came from, it snuck in mysteriously and sought me out.
The neighbour and I were fascinated by its boldness. Wildlife usually avoids human contact. Our crow wasn't playing the game properly.
The bird was light, presumably unable to feed itself, most likely exiting a nearby nest only days beforehand. Crow parents normally feed their offspring right up until they're as large and as fit as them. The chick's demands outstrip the parent's ability to provide resources for both and the child is then weaned off assisted feeding naturally. The transition is seamless, perfect.
Crow-baby was thin and it's parents weren't anywhere to be found. That wasn't right.
I picked it up, carried it to one of our water-stations (bird's drink from them all day long) and let it take it's fill while I went inside and found some protein to feed it... and grab my camera.
The video isn't exactly going viral but the numbers are growing. A few hundred thousand views isn't too bad... it's the comments that I find humourous. Some commenters think the whole thing is cute, others take a different approach, condemning my actions for making the crow dependant on me. Fortunately, those are far fewer.
The video is so brief that it's hard for anyone to make a judgement on dependency or practically anything else. What the video doesn't show is everything that's important to the extended story - especially when determining what happened afterwards.
I fed it and it flew off.
Crow narrative over.
That's all there is/was to it.
Mind you, I've no problem feeding a bird bits and pieces until it gains enough weight to move on. If it chooses to hang around for a week or so while that happens then so be it. If it doesn't, same deal.
I won't cage it, just provide nourishment and water in the open space. It won't have an opportunity to get dependant because I'll boot it out just like the parents would've done in natural life. As it chose to do that itself, I'm off the hook and the debate isn't necessary.
And then there's those who remark on things they see on Youtube and, without much thought or foresight, assume the worst from the outset.
There's a certain individual out there who thrives on pessimism.