Monday, May 22, 2006

Terror in the trees...

We have Ravens, BIG Ravens, some call them crows, and even though they are from the Corvid family, they are RAVENS. Northwest Indian Lore is full of Ravens. Some think they are reincarnations of dead ancestors. Some think they bring bad luck. Whatever the history, Ravens are a very interesting bird.

They caw at everything and can be very irritating. They flock to a roost tree at night, and I have one about 1/10 of a mile through the woods. I can see them flying to it at dusk.

The language they use is unique to the area that they are raised in. Just like Humans, they have their own dialect. I did not know that until I was stationed on Adak Island in the Aleutions. The Ravens there spoke a much different language than the ravens down here. I was amazed at how different they sounded. Even their Caws were a different pitch.

Yesterday Afternoon, I was sitting here in the office and I heard a ruckus right over the fence. It sounded like a mama robin screaming at her baby to get up off the ground and fly!! It kept on and on and I assumed there was a cat next door stalking a bird. Soon a Raven flew by cawing and perched in the alders and cawed and cawed and cawed. This was a "get out of here" type of Caw, so I decided I would go see what I could find.

Lola was chipping loudly too, and I just KNEW Jupiter next door was loose. I stood on the high ground on my tiptoes to see what I could find over the fence. Nothing, but Mr. Raven was sure raising hell over my head. I looked up, to find him, and looked right smack into the black eyes of a barred owl. I could just about reach up and touch him, but knew better.

Ravens will pick on any bird that they think will hurt them or their broods. It is not at all unusual to hear a racket, look up and see a flock of ravens and crows all chasing a Bald Eagle. They obviously pick on owls too, but since owls are nocturnal and Ravens are diurnal, you just don't see them that often. This particular Owl was out and about in the early afternoon, and clearly head his sights on a good warm lunch of Lola. Lola of course was not having any of this, and she was clinging tightly to the wisteria trunk, raising a ruckus which brought the Ravens and the Robins over to help shoo away the intruder.

this morning about 615, I head Raven racket again, and sat up and peaked over the window sill, just in time to see them chase the barred owl off the deck railing where he perches at night to decide which rat he wants for dinner.

Lola was just waking up as I could hear her in the woods, but she had not quite made it to the feeder yet. Mr. Raven succeeded in getting the owl to fly back over the house and off into where ever he is supposed to be during the day. It CLEARLY was not my backyard or the alders behind my house. Those belong to the Ravens and the Squirrels. Just Ask them. They will tell you.

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