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ishmael
09-18-2017, 08:32 AM
I'm still at the beginning of the learning curve on things avian, but two of the more interesting birds around have been the various corvids(jays, crows and ravens etc) and the barred owls. I've learned that crows have a vocabulary of around 250 calls! and are one of the few birds known to have funerals! Highly intelligent, complex critters.

The blue jays are, with many of the corvids, good mimics and can do a fine imitation of the call of a red tailed hawk. I've only seen brother raven a few times, but they call from my pine forest fairly often, a distinctive cronk. The ears of the barred owl, whose call is often described as a drawn out "who cooks for yooou",
are offset up and down on the sides of their head so they can triangulate prey sounds. Pretty amazing, our feathered friends.

Flying Orca
09-18-2017, 08:34 AM
If you're into that kind of thing, I highly recommend Ackerman's The Genius of Birds. It's a great romp through the sometimes astonishing powers of the avian brain.

amish rob
09-18-2017, 08:51 AM
The Mind Of The Raven by Benrd Heinrich.

Read any of his books. He's awesome. But he is a raven EXPERT.

Peace,
Robert

isla
09-18-2017, 10:51 AM
The Mind Of The Raven by Benrd Heinrich.

Read any of his books. He's awesome. But he is a raven EXPERT.

Peace,
Robert

Awesome yes. I have read 'A Naturalist at Large' and 'Ravens in Winter'.

Ish, you might also like 'In the Company of Crows and Ravens' by John Marzluff and Tony Angell, which looks at how corvids have influenced human culture.

Canoeyawl
09-18-2017, 10:57 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIUrcMH69Ko

Jimmy W
09-18-2017, 11:02 AM
Here in Georgia, you have to get above 3000 feet elevation in the mountains to hear ravens. Crows are found everywhere.

ishmael
09-18-2017, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the book recs. I remembered Robert's on Ravens. Have to jot all of them down and put the note someplace safe. Ha!

A fun doco on crows.

https://youtu.be/LF77qpbvkxo

amish rob
09-18-2017, 11:33 AM
The crows around here have a particular name for the pellet gun. :) One pump won't get through their feathers, but they like to get at the pecans way up high, so I've had to shoo them away a few times.

Now, if I come out and they see me, it's fine. But if I have the pellet gun, it's cawCAWcawcawcawcawCaw, or whatever they scream. It's pretty funny actually.

The ravens, though. My father in law and I spent an afternoon watching a mating pair play in the updrafts at "our" lake one fall. They would soar up, then tumble down all crazy and pull out of the tumble into a graceful swoop. They got progressively closer to the water on the pull outs, and it was clearly laughter coming from them as they played. One would watch the other, over and over. Hahahaha. That's the sound they made.

And the one Raven who learned how to work the latch on the icebox. He eats butter. And candles. We can't leave candles (or even wax fire starters) out, or he'll eat them. Weirdo.

The crows are very affected by a scarecrow. The ravens are not even fooled, at all. Oh, yes, the scarecrow has a fake pellet gun in his hand. :)

Peace,
Robert

lupussonic
09-18-2017, 11:33 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPGknpq3e0

amish rob
09-18-2017, 11:35 AM
I read once, maybe in the book Mind of the Raven, that corvids are the only birds that know to step on the line (or a string, suspending food in midair from a branch). All other birds will pull the line up, but let go without stepping on it, allowing it to drop again.
They are alleged to be the most intelligent bird. I don't know enough about birds, but ravens seem very different.

I watched one take pecans out in the road and set them down in the tire track. He would sit and look and line up the nut with the oncoming tire, then fly a few feet away, and return for his nut after the car passed.

Peace,
Robert

Canoeyawl
09-18-2017, 11:42 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZerUbHmuY04

ishmael
09-18-2017, 11:47 AM
My favorite raven story.

One of our western parks, a bathhouse is reported to have a malfunctioning toilet that keeps flushing itself. The maintenance guy goes, checks out all the loos, doesn't find a problem. He's walking away...a toilet flushes again! He goes back, has a closer look, still no problem. Walks away...same thing!

It was a perfect raven mimic of a flushing toilet from a close by tree.

J P
09-18-2017, 12:03 PM
There's a raven pair that's nested on my property at least the last four years that I am aware of. They've only succeeded in raising two offspring in one of the four years (2016). That was a hoot having them around. What a raucous bunch. The other three years they lost the eggs or hatchlings to predators of some sort, probably raptors. This year the hatchlings, three I think, made it a week before something got them. The parents left shortly after but come back now and then. They always build a new nest each year though I noticed this year that they reused some of the lining from their 2015 nest. If they try again next spring I'm thinking of putting up an observation camera.

In 2015, after I realized that their nest had failed, I climbed up to it just to have a look.

Second taller tree on the left with ladder at base:
https://s26.postimg.org/9ao1anvex/m_P4230386.jpg

No, I did not free climb. I installed a climbing rope about 50ft up. Roped in, the ladder got me up to some decent limbs and from there I went up using alternating lanyards from a climbing harness, and pulled the rope up with me.

https://s26.postimg.org/7y6c8rxzd/m_P5100398.jpg

The nest lining is deer and elk hair and inner cottonwood bark.

It was a nice view from there.

Ground crew.
https://s26.postimg.org/cisinphop/m_P5100414.jpg

amish rob
09-18-2017, 12:34 PM
There's a raven pair that's nested on my property at least the last four years that I am aware of. They've only succeeded in raising two offspring in one of the four years (2016). That was a hoot having them around. What a raucous bunch. The other three years they lost the eggs or hatchlings to predators of some sort, probably raptors. This year the hatchlings, three I think, made it a week before something got them. The parents left shortly after but come back now and then. They always build a new nest each year though I noticed this year that they reused some of the lining from their 2015 nest. If they try again next spring I'm thinking of putting up an observation camera.

In 2015, after I realized that their nest had failed, I climbed up to it just to have a look.

Second taller tree on the left with ladder at base:
https://s26.postimg.org/9ao1anvex/m_P4230386.jpg

No, I did not free climb. I installed a climbing rope about 50ft up. Roped in, the ladder got me up to some decent limbs and from there I went up using alternating lanyards from a climbing harness, and pulled the rope up with me.

https://s26.postimg.org/7y6c8rxzd/m_P5100398.jpg

The nest lining is deer and elk hair and inner cottonwood bark.

It was a nice view from there.

Ground crew.
https://s26.postimg.org/cisinphop/m_P5100414.jpg
This is my favorite post ever... so far. :)

The "bird's eye" view takes the cake!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Peace,
Robert

Jimmy W
09-18-2017, 12:56 PM
When visiting Yellowstone, we saw a couple park a Mercedes convertible sports car and walk off leaving the top down. Right after they walked away, a pair of ravens landed in the car and found a bag of potato chips which they opened and emptied out on the seat to eat.

J P
09-18-2017, 01:23 PM
This is my favorite post ever... so far. :)

The "bird's eye" view takes the cake!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Peace,
Robert

You are welcome Robert. Hopefully next spring I might have some more to share from a nest cam. I need to start researching camera setups.

You might have noticed the several days difference in the time stamp on the photos above. The first time I tried to climb up I hadn't quite made it to the nest when a stiff wind came up. Whoa. I clung to my tree and tried to enjoy the ride, but with all the other trees swaying around every which way it was too much for me so I descended and called it a day. A puckered day.

ishmael
09-18-2017, 01:36 PM
You're a brave man, JP. When I was a carpenter, I got so used to heights that climbing three stories of ladder with a bundle of shingles on my shoulder didn't bother me. Now...not so much.

Look forward to a cam on those boogers! Good luck with that.

Ralphie Boy
09-18-2017, 02:57 PM
I have heard stories of people who kill Crows and are subsequently terrorized by the Crow community. Apparently Crows never forget.
Ralphie

Jim Bow
09-18-2017, 07:09 PM
If you do Facebook, there's a "Canuck the Crow" you can follow. He was raised and released by a guy in Vancouver BC, and now visits him daily, with gifts. He became famous when he flew into a police crime scene, picked up a knife and flew away.

Old Dryfoot
09-18-2017, 07:17 PM
Not just Facebook, you'll find mention of Canuck everywhere.

https://i.cbc.ca/1.3600308.1464220798%21/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/canuck-the-crow-with-a-knife.jpg

here he is riding the SkyTrain

https://shawglobalnews.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/crow_train1.jpg?quality=70&strip=all&w=720&h=480&crop=1

Even had a mention over at Auduban.

http://www.audubon.org/news/the-misadventures-canuck-worlds-most-infamous-crow

The Bigfella
09-18-2017, 09:16 PM
No corvids, but here's a cute owl for you

https://photos.smugmug.com/Randoms-6/i-gfxZ3Gw/0/5b034ab6/X3/threeofem-X3.jpg

I'd highly recommend the bird park in Kuala Lumpur to anyone with an interest in birds. I'd happily go back there. Huge, well forested aviary that you walk through with the birds. I'll post some other photos on my random pics thread

Breakaway
09-20-2017, 10:19 PM
Recently attended an owl seminar at a local wildlife refuge. Live birds were handled and discussed. Screech owls, barn owls and great horned owls are common here. Amazing predators , the tiny screech owl can exert 40 pounds of force with his talons.

Also, owls and crows are mortal enemies. An owl will invade a crow roost at night: crows look for owls during the day and chase them away. ( I have seen this)

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170921/58b3a8e420ea6caf5502555e3693dd91.jpg

Kevin


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