Town Raven

Town Raven
In flight


This is a diary, or rather, field notes written up each day, with the latest entry at the top.

To get the full story, start at the bottom entry in the archive, and read upwards.
Then read the current diary entries from the bottom up as well.

Once you've got the full story, just visit and read the new story for the day!


Location Map

Location Map
This shows where we walk and meet the ravens
The yellow and pink squiggly lines are two walks we take. The yellow one is the one we usually do. The squigglyness indicates how Madame visits her several important sniffing check-points!
We stop several times to feed the ravens, and you can see where they come from.

If you right-click on the image and open it in a new tab, you can then zoom in to see more details.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Nov 14th, 2009

Well, that was a dead loss today, in regard to the weather!
Okay, it did rain in the night - but there was no storm: that came, for a few hours, in the late afternoon today.
England got a harsh battering, mind - but here in the Welsh capital things were acceptable for this time of year.

So no answer as to what ravens do in a storm.

However - as it was cold, I put my hood up, which is black. Still the ravens came, meeting us at the top of the big field.
That, of course, means any speculation about the role my hair colour plays in their recognition of me is now thrown out of the window, because Madame was there with me. So I'm up a stump here.
More thinking needed!

Two things happened today:
1) Madame, who so far has been happy to snuffle round the fence of the enclosure in the ravens' field, did a very naughty thing today!
She wriggled underneath the bottom of the little gate of that enclosure, to get into the pitch! The ravens flew off while I got her out with rank bribery. Bad Madame!

2) when the ravens had come back, some of the scraps I threw landed very close to the fence - about half a foot away. Even though I walked on a bit, they didn't dare come close to pick them up.
Instead, first the one, then the other displayed what can only be called displacement behaviour: they put their beaks to the grass and seemed to lick (yes, they have tongues) some of the raindrops from the grass.

They did this twice. I give them off-cuts from raw meat - not salted, cooked or interfered with in any way. I thought this was very interesting - I'll see if I can replicate this tomorrow.

We went back along the tennis court side of the spinney, the 'no-more-food' side. The bold raven flew onto the roof of the changing rooms there, and sat on the end of the roof,  towards the toddlers' playground, not the ravens' field end.
He fluffed up his feathers - but did not follow us any further.

If they really have grasped that us walking this way means feeding is finished, then they are indeed incredibly intelligent - we've done all this for less than a month!

Madame, while not quite as food-obsessed as Big Dog, is still far more anxious to get any scraps she can, regardless of me being cross with her, and regardless of being told 'down - stay'.
Aww - ravens more capable of learning new things than a Border Collie??? Unbelievable!

Now all these observations need to be repeated over the coming days and weeks, else its just some nice anecdotes.

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