Raven Waiting


Lookout

There is a raven sitting in a tree along the border of the home field and the south field. He has been cawing, “Come Food” for five hours. He spotted something he would like to eat and he wants someone, another raven preferably, to act as a sentinel while he goes down to eat and then they’ll switch while the other raven eats and the first raven guards.

When I went out to do chores the raven switched to the call “Danger, Danger, Danger” to warn any other ravens around that I was there. Wise birds.

It has been five hours. That’s a long time to sit there hungry. The food is tempting enough that he doesn’t want to abandon it but nobody is coming to help him. The risk is high enough that the raven doesn’t dare go to ground by himself without a lookout to warn him that someone like Kita might be gunning for him.

Kita, one of the wolf dogs who guard and herd livestock on our farm, developed a strategy of putting out a piece of meat and then hiding under the snow or brush. Holding perfectly still she blends with even just rocks and ground. When the raven comes for the food she sprints forward and grabs them. I’ve seen her do this many times. Frankly, even having a sentinel doesn’t guarantee protection for them from Kita’s tricks.


Raven Killed Piglet

Why does Kita hunt ravens? Simple, they hunt her piglets and she doesn’t tolerate that. Kita is the one who notified me that ravens were doing that. I encouraged her once I understood the issue. Ravens poke holes in piglets and then wait for them to slowly and painfully die while the birds sit safely in the tree. Nature can be fairly cruel. The ravens probably don’t think it’s much fun either once Kita was onto them.

Hagrid set the record for highest leap to take one down, shooting up about 12′ in the air. I’m sure the raven thought it was safe – not.

This spring Pika took down a raven and I’ve seen others of the pack do it too although none with quite the skill and ferocity of Kita.

Outdoors: 76°F/53°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/63°F

Daily Spark: The good news is Climate Change is warming, not cooling. Ice ages have been brutal. Warming periods have been times of greatly increased biodiversity. Most of all, people don’t like change. With reason, we might go extinct.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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