Saturday, August 18, 2007

More on the Raven

About a week ago I posted a photo of a raven in flight. I had heard tales of raven's intelligence and habits before but had never realized what impressive fliers they were. The raven in the picture here was soaring on the thermal updrafts rising from Diablo Lake many feet below as well as any hawk or eagle I've ever seen.

In flight

He (or she) also sports bands on each leg, one green, one red. I wish I knew what aspect of his habits or behavior is being studied.

Banded Raven

It seems that ravens are fairly common in the North Cascades as are crows. It was difficult to tell the difference from a distance. A bird book I have in front of me describes the call of the raven as a "croonk" whereas the crow really does make a "caw" sounds. The small town of Mazama that we stayed in seemed full of crows and their cawing would wake me up in the morning.
At a ranger station a bit east of Mazama we learned that the local raven had picked up the habit of stealing wiper blades from parked cars. The rangers recommended putting something over the blades while parked in the parking lot. I once had a wiper blade stolen by a human but they did it for the obvious reason of replacing one of theirs. What did a raven need with them? One can only guess.


Debo Blue said...

How would a raven have the strength to steal a wiper blade?

Perhaps they're studying their migratory practices.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Stunning photos! Ravens are magnificent birds! Funny habit of stealing wiper blades, I've never heard of that one before, though i know they do steal stuff.

meeyauw said...

They like shiny things. I know because I read a whole book about them and am going to read another. The reason I read a whole book was because I actually saw, with my own eyes, two ravens in the beaver meadows, one winter, when it was all frozen ice and snow: they were rolling on their backs in the snow, waggling their tails. They did it just like dogs. They are amazing creatures, which the author suggested was why the native Americans thought them related to wolves, another amazing animal.

Larry said...

Nice photos! Ravens are fascinating birds to watch, especially when they don't know you're watching.