Dear Action Line: I have noticed that all of a sudden Durango appears to be devoid of crows. Have they all been murdered? – A Crime Enthusiast
Dear Crime Enthusiast: Perhaps it was an unkindness done to them by their bigger relative, the ravens?
OK, some of you are not going to get all that subtle wittiness. Let’s explain.
You know how it’s a “gaggle” of geese, and a “colony” of ants? Well, it’s a “murder” of crows and an “unkindness” of ravens. And if you are Counting Crows, you can have a Murder of One. (Sorry, an attempt at mid-’90s popular music humor there.)
Time and time again, crows are mistaken for ravens, and vice versa. Both belong to the Corvidae family. But ravens are much bigger, with a 3-foot-plus wingspan, while crows are pigeon-sized.
Are we running out of crows to count?
John Livingston, local Parks and Wildlife spokesman, said no.
“Not to make this reader ‘eat crow,’ but there is no shortage of crows around Durango currently – or ever,” he said. “A few drives down north Main Avenue this week revealed dozens of crows perched atop streetlights, and the never-ending war between crows and magpies continues to wage on in neighborhoods around Durango.”
Continued Livingston: “American crows ... are generalists and can adapt to most conditions thrown their way. They will simply go wherever they can find food and move along somewhere else if they find food sources to be lacking. But since humans are such a wasteful species, they typically have no problem finding food.”
On a somewhat related note, there seems to be disagreement about the collective noun for humans. But “mob” seems to work.
Dear Action Line: Why is there no parking allowed on or near Main Avenue overnight? Many people fear getting a ticket so much that they will move their vehicles even if they were drinking. I understand the necessity to have the road cleared for snow removal, but why not adopt regulations that prohibit parking after a certain amount of snow accumulation, like other streets around town? – Anthony
Dear Anthony: Consider that the city of Durango is a reasonable entity. Deep down, you and I are the city, assuming you live here, and we are reasonable people. Therefore, the city is reasonable.
Sound, logical reasoning, even though it may not seem the city is reasonable all the time.
In this case, the city really does try to be reasonable. Everyone from the police officer to the bartender to pedestrians to other drivers hopes you do not get in the vehicle and try to drive.
You may get a citation for abandoning your vehicle overnight, but you may appeal and have the citation nullified.
“A parking protest form can be completed by the individual to have the parking citation waived due to intoxication and not wanting to drive under the influence,” said Steve Barkley, code enforcement officer with the Durango Police Department. “This can be completed at the transit center parking office or online at Durangogov.org.”
On the website, click on “Parking” at the top, and on the next screen, click “Protest My Citation” on the left side.
No parking is allowed overnight on Main, Barkley said, mainly to allow street sweepers to sweep “for the tourist crowd sightseeing pleasantry.” And yes, there’s that winter thing about snow, which is really hard to imagine as Action Line writes this with the thermal meter reading 99 degrees.
Email questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Well, that’s it for July. Stay tuned for August and Everything After.