Wednesday July 29 2015
Up before dawn, to bed long after dark; during all hours of the day, these Owyhee Gang Bangers are causing a relentless rowdy, raucous, roisterous Raven ruckus.
From the Raven nest up Bates Crick came 5 or 6 juveniles. They must have joined up with the gang of 2 or 3 juveniles from up the Pickett Crick canyon. And my, they are a formidable feathered bunch of ruffians.
They fly about in a mob, never failing to state their opinions, on everything. Constantly. LOUDLY. EMPHATICALLY.
Hollering, cawing, shrieking, screaming; while swooping in the air, bouncing in the trees, strutting on the ground. They scream from fence posts. They shriek from the hillsides. They shout in the horse pastures. They screech in the air. There's no mistaking where they roam, up and down the crick. You can hear them a mile away.
Everything is important to juvenile Ravens, and everything is open to copious discussion and debate. That's how they learn. Testing, sampling, turning over rocks and leaves and sticks and having endless discourse about everything, all at high volume. Except for a few hours of darkness when they are finally worn out from their long important days, they never SHUT UP.
"LOOK AT ME! I'M IN THIS TREE!" "LOOK HERE, I'M IN *THIS* TREE!" "*I'M* IN THIS TREE HERE!" "HEY WATCH ME ON THIS TREE BRANCH!" etc.
"AH! A MEAN KESTREL IS CHASING ME!" "ATTACK THAT KESTREL!" "FLY AWAY FROM THAT KESTREL!" "BAD KESTREL!" "LET'S ALL GO GET THAT KESTREL!" ((The Ravens and Kestrels around here have an ongoing, eternal war.)
"A WORM! I FOUND A WORM UNDER THIS ROCK!" "THAT'S NOT A WORM, THAT'S A BUG!" "IS NOT!" "IS TOO!" "NOT!" "TOO!" "'TISN'T A ROCK NEITHER!" "'TIS TOO!" "IS NOT!" "TOO!" "NOT!" etc. On and on.
Any time they fly near me, I call out, "Hi Ravens!" They look at me and go on screaming. If they're strutting about in the field nearby, I'll holler at them, "Hi Ravens!" Oh, they notice me, pause in mid-strut and look, then go back to their pertinent investigations and shrieking. They enjoy scrutinizing horse poop, sashaying from poop pile to poop pile in the pastures; I wonder if the horses notice the constant Raven Cacophony?
The noisiness is not just about sharing learning. It's a sort of defense system. Whereas some birds will hunt and move about by stealth for safety, the noisy gregariousness of the Ravens serves as a veritable gang against would-be predators, and as a very noisy warning system if anything seeking a Raven dinner is approaching, while they are about their busy tasks of discovery and higher academic learning.
They don't respect many boundaries - they don't turn off their generators when it's bed time, and the underage delinquents stay at the bar long past closing time. They're back at the bar far too early in the morning, demanding the sun get up and start the day already.
But I don't begrudge my Raven hoodlum neighbors. I love the noisy little buggars. They provide delightful, endless entertainment!