Meet Crowvid19, Ottawa's wandering scrap metal crow

A local sculptor has used car parts, salvaged bathtubs and even an old ploughshare to build a 90-kilogram crow that people can "adopt" in exchange for donations to the Ottawa Food Bank.

Admirers can host the big bird in exchange for a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank

Crowvid19 by sculptor Dave Harries. The 90 kg sculpture is made from salvaged bathtubs and a piece from an old plough. People can bid to host it for a week at a time, with proceeds to the Ottawa Foodbank. (Dave Harries/Fackbook)

Spotted this fellow around Ottawa? Or on your social media feed? 

It's a sculpture of a crow its creator has dubbed Crowvid19.

Dave Harries created it using spare car parts and old bathtubs salvaged from a couple of reno jobs. The bird's beak is made from a rusted ploughshare, the pointy cutting edge of a plough. Its feet are made out of garage door springs connected to a piston.

From its beak to the tip of its tail, Crowvid19 measures just over 2.5 metres and weighs 90 kilograms.

Crowvid19 settles in to its new, albeit temporary, location on Burlington Cres., near Conroy Pit in Ottawa. (Submitted by Dave Harries/Facebook)

Harries, whose tools included a plasma cutter and MIG welder, posted his creation as a work in progress on Facebook, and a covetous comment popped up. That's when the idea to loan Crowvid19 out to people in exchange for a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank took flight.

Now, the highest bid each week wins the crow's temporary company. Interest in the bird is intense, according to Harries.

"My phone won't stop buzzing," he told CBC's Ottawa Morning. "It's gotten kind of cuckoo." 

Harries, who's also a licensed auto mechanic, landscaper and home renovator, had the idea of sculpting a crow well before the arrival of the novel coronavirus.

"I just never had the time, and obviously right now we all have a lot more free time on our hands," he said.

Crowvid19 has even developed a social media presence.


But getting the hefty bird around is murder. Harries heaves Crowvid19 in and out of his pickup truck with help from his wife, Ottawa musician Lynne Hanson, who's taking care of the accounting and tracking bids.

Harries isn't too concerned about a bird-napping, but he does have a cable lock for Crowvid19, just to be safe. When the tour ends, Harries is considering auctioning the big bird off.

In the meantime, he's hoping Crowvid19 can shed a little positive energy.

"If the crow can be … something to look forward to that's bright and beautiful instead of all the dark and dour news that's out there, and it gets people thinking about contributing to a local cause … that's all I'm really interested in." 

You can follow Crowvid19 travels on Twitter @crowvid19 or Facebook.

With files from CBC's Ottawa Morning

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now