I’m grateful for these majestic smart birds, our largest Corvid (not to be confused with Covid). The tracks I thought were turkey last month in the driveway, I’ve been easily persuaded were actually from a raven. Once Andrea suggested they weren’t turkey, I put several observations together. In the preceding weeks I’d seen a raven in the field beyond the fence – at first I thought it was wounded or sick, because it seemed to be struggling in snow about eight inches deep, out in the middle of the field – but then I saw a second raven across the field, and realized they were both foraging beneath the snow. For what? grains or grubs in the horse poop? rodents?
Ravens have been my constant companions since I moved to this near-wild sanctuary. Their intelligence, playfulness, and sheer bravado inspired the name of my beloved Raven dog who died last May. I’ve heard many and varied vocalizations from them through the years, but until recently I’d never heard their love-talk – or, heard perhaps, without knowing what it was. The same day I photographed the track I saw two ravens in the top of a particular juniper down near my gate. I have since seen them there frequently, and watched as they foraged in the field, perched and cawed in treetops, caressed and cooed to one another. I’ll be looking for their nest now, and watching closely for their young in coming weeks. I’m so grateful to live in the same world with ravens.