Two birds in one.
Following the introduction of West Nile Virus, the crow population in my area declined sharply and is only coming back slowly but they've started coming to my selection of bird feeders and looking things over. Coincidental with that, I started finding strange items in the bird bath the odd time, pieces of fur, half a mouse, things like that. Then yesterday I looked out to see a crow sitting on the bath and tearing off chunks some sort of fluffy material held under one foot and dropping them in the water. The crow flew off once I got up to get a better look and when I went out to check I found it the material was actually pieces of bread from a slice of end crust, all of which were soggily floating in the water, in company with an apparent chicken bone. Not wanting the water poisoned, I took out the bread and the bone; the crow came back later and dropped the bread back in the bath again and ate most of it; the bone has disappeared. I was telling a birder in another area about this just now and was told that crows in his region come by and wash baby birds in his yard, presumably before eating them. I had assumed 'my' crow was softening the bread I saw it eating, maybe even the bone, but in light of what I was told and the animal material I've been finding, I'm wondering if crows habitually rinse or soak their food before eating. Is this a known behaviour?