Frank Croskerry Books

Author of Our Land Is The Sky - The Adventures of Jimmy Fastwing

Frank and Grandson

Frank James Croskerry - Author

I was asked what had inspired me to write my book “Our Land Is The Sky”. I had been getting more and more interested in Crows over the years from my own observations and the stuff I was reading on line and in the media.

Each time I went outside I was becoming aware of our feathered friends sitting up there and looking down on us. Other birds seemed to go about their business without paying any attention to us, but the crow was always observing and posting themselves like sentinels on handy perches to watch and listen. I saw them congregating in areas where they seemed to be holding meetings.

They travelled through the neighbourhoods in twos, threes, fours or even small flocks and landed at intervals to rest and to spy on the action below. They could be seen on occasions actually playing like I'd never seen another bird do.

Sometimes I'd see a lone crow flying straight and cawing loudly and obviously intent on reaching a destination with the news he had attained. This was a different bird that led a life much more complicated and social than I had ever thought.

I heard many personal stories of them over the years but one I would like to relate is from a friend of mine called Joe Barth who is now a professor at Guelph University. Joe and I once worked together and he told me his story one day when we were passing time together. This was how Joe told me his story:

We had a crow when I was a kid...his name was Jack... My Father scooped him up when he cut down a tall tree one year, and he quickly became a favourite pet. Jack lived under the roof of our porch (perched on the exposed joists), but went in and out of the house regularly. Sometimes he wanted to be inside, sometimes outside. Just like a dog, he would go to the door and make a fuss until you opened it for him. Jack would follow us to school and wait in the schoolyard for recess...all the kids gave him bits of their snacks. He would fly along from tree to tree behind us when we went home. We had a family car with bench-style seats and Jack liked riding with us. He would perch on the back of the bench seat looking out the windshield with his wings partially outstretched as if he were flying! He hung around the car to be sure he could come along whenever we went anywhere. Jack stayed with us for a couple of years before he started to wander off, coming back from time to time, until eventually we didn't see him anymore.

I really loved that story and years later I was trying to explain my feelings about crows to my grandson James. Somehow the book just developed as we went along. This experience related to me by Joe was one of the many reasons I wrote the story of Jimmy Fastwing.

A great enjoyment to me is hearing someone say that reading my book has changed their view on crows.


Frank and Brothers

More About Frank

Frank is the middle son of five brothers born from 1940 through 1949. (Pictured in the sixties from left to right: Pat, Mike, Frank, John, Jim) He was born in Northern Ireland of an Irish father and a mother from Yorkshire and raised in the south east of England preferring to be described as of British heritage but proudly Canadian.

He was considered to be a bright child but a disappointing student, leaving school and home just weeks after his fourteenth birthday.

He lived briefly with an Irish Aunt and family in Essex but was soon on his own and enrolled in Her Majesty's Royal Marines at seventeen. By eighteen he had qualified as a Commando (green beret) and his first assignment was on board HMS Protector to be part of the 1964 British Antarctica Survey.

After returning to the UK Frank left for Singapore where he joined 42 Commando RM and was deployed to Borneo during the Indonesian conflict. His brother John, also a Royal Marine, was awarded a Mention in Dispatches during the same campaign serving with 40 CDO RM. Frank and John both qualified as Paratroopers.

There followed a return to UK with 41 CDO RM during which time the unit was deployed to the west African coast during the Nigeria - Biafra war and also, exercises in various locales including Northern Ireland in 1967.

Both brothers married in 1968 and returned to Singapore accompanied by their wives, being sent on to Hong Kong during this time.

Frank left the Royal Marines after ten years and adjusted to civilian life with the birth of a son Daniel 1973 and a daughter Anna 1976.

The family emigrated to Canada in the Autumn of 1979 and now live in Ontario. Frank is retired and enjoying his main favourite pastimes – his grandkids and writing.