Ravens

“Snow,” a watercolor by Suki Elisha Strong, for sale at the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss, starting tomorrow when the Creamery reopens for spring with a special show for Educators and new members. I’m grateful to know this fine painter, grateful she survived Covid, grateful she shared some images of her lovely Covid Corvids with me.

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.

7 thoughts on “Ravens

  1. Thank you for this post! I love Suki Elisha Strong’s stunning watercolor portrait. And I’ve heard a lot of different raven sounds, but never the love-coos you captured in your video. Makes me want to go back to Bernd Heinrich’s wonderful books _Mind of the Raven_ and _Ravens in Winter_.

    • Thanks, Sarah. Ellie also mentioned Heinrich’s “Ravens in Winter.” I’ve not read either of these, but now with two recommendations, I will add one or both to my list, and possibly my kindle, today!

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    • Thanks! There is a link in there to the Audubon page on ravens, where you can learn more about them. Lots of studies have been done on their thinking capacity, you’d enjoy reading about some of those.

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  2. Ah, such incredible creatures! What a blessing to have them near. You probably have read Ravens in Winter by Heinrich, yes?

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  3. Oh Rita how lovely. Thank you for your praises, it is an honor to be part of your blog, and to be named your friend.

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