Jeff Brown of PAWS releases “crow 20220004” into the wild Friday at the UW Bothell campus after its rehabilitation for an injured wing. The crow immediately flew into a tree and began calling out to other birds in the area. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Jeff Brown of PAWS releases “crow 20220004” into the wild Friday at the UW Bothell campus after its rehabilitation for an injured wing. The crow immediately flew into a tree and began calling out to other birds in the area. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Broken wing healed, a crow passes test flight at UW Bothell

The injured crow rejoined its murder Friday, following surgery at the PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood.

BOTHELL — On New Year’s Day, the fourth patient at PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood was a crow.

It was a younger crow. Probably less than a year old, PAWS naturalist Jeff Brown said. You could tell because its mouth was still pink. Someone found it at the University of Washington Bothell campus, dragging its wing on the ground.

Brown wasn’t sure how the crow became injured. Perhaps it hit something on the way out of, or the way into, a roosting spot. The college campus is known for its great gathering of corvids.

PAWS staff discovered a severe humeral fracture. Early on, veterinarians worried the crow might not make a full recovery, the injury was so bad. The center is open every day, even holidays, because animals can become injured at any moment, and someone needs to care for them.

The crow underwent surgery, had some pins put into its wing and dealt with several rounds of intensive specialized crow physical therapy.

Jeff Brown of PAWS leads the way to a wetland before releasing a rehabilitated crow into the wild Friday at the UW Bothell campus. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Jeff Brown of PAWS leads the way to a wetland before releasing a rehabilitated crow into the wild Friday at the UW Bothell campus. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Earlier this week, Patient No. 4 passed its final flight test. After 47 days in care, it was “a beautiful recovery,” Brown said.

Brown said he has been at PAWS four years now and he’s still amazed at some of the rehabilitations.

On Friday, staff brought the fledgling crow back to UW Bothell, where it was found. Brown lifted the grate of a crate, and almost instantly the crow took off. It found a tree right away, sat there for two seconds, then hopped to another one.

It cawed triumphantly.

As the onlookers chatted, the crow in turn chatted with another of its kind.

A rehabilitated crow (left) perches in a tree as two other crows come flying up on Friday at the UW Bothell campus. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A rehabilitated crow (left) perches in a tree as two other crows come flying up on Friday at the UW Bothell campus. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

It was home.

“We just made it a little easier for this first day,” Brown said. “Just hang out a little bit, and see all the crew when they all arrive.”

Within a couple of hours, the crow would be joined by many more. During this time of year, thousands and thousands of crows find their way to the Bothell campus at dusk, the cacophony of caws echoing into the night.

Once together, maybe they’ll play some crow-quet, or have a quiet night and crow-chet.

Or if they’re feeling rowdy, they’ll go to the crow-bar.

They’ll have a crow of a time, no matter what.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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