An unkindness...

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yuccahead
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An unkindness...

Post by yuccahead » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:19 am

...of ravens, that is. I realize some folks here are not all that taken with the common raven in the desert, they prey upon endangered species, etc. but, they are incredibly intelligent, playful and an icon of the canyon country. On dayhikes, backpacks, river trips or car camping they are a constant companion, amusing, harassing and stealing from tourists and anybody else that isn't a little familiar with their abilities. Almost always seen in pairs, since they do mate for life, they make an almost limitless variety of vocal sounds. Personally, I find them to be entertaining and an essential part of the natural scheme of things, especially in the Utah canyon country. I highly recomend "Mind of the Raven" (Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds) by noted naturalist-writer Bernd Heinrich.

Raven at The Anticline Overlook, Utah
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Ravens on the levy at Ken's Lake, Moab, Utah
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Raven in the Fiery Furnace, Arches NP, Utah
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reptilist
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Re: An unkindness...

Post by reptilist » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:21 am

Wow, that last pic is great!

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Plays In The Dirt
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Re: An unkindness...

Post by Plays In The Dirt » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:29 pm

I agree with your post yuccahead, ravens are incredibly intelligent and are definitely survivors. When I drive a heavy haul truck at the mine I work at I've had them fly right outside the drivers window waiting for me to throw them some bread crust or whatever else I have to offer. They'll stop and pick it up and then catch-up to me to repeat the process. I've had them follow along side of me from the bottom of the pit to the waste dump which is at least a (15) minute trip. I'm not the only one who has experienced this as many people feed them. In the winter you never see them.

And I agree with Terry, that last Photo is a great capture.

Jim Hatt

Re: An unkindness...

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:42 pm

Talk about being in the right place at the right time with your camera in your hand!!!!!

Great Shot!

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Re: An unkindness...

Post by Iggy » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:46 pm

Wow yuccahead what a great shot. Come on tell us the truth, you put that raven in there. :D

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yuccahead
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Re: An unkindness...

Post by yuccahead » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:11 pm

I was hiking in the Fiery Furnace through the slot in the photo and could hear some cawing and raven noises up ahead. I had just pulled the camera out and got it turned on when a half dozen ravens took to the air and flew towards me, right over my head. I fired off two shots, one was a blur and this was the other. I went up to where I thought they had been and was expecting to find a dead carcass of something they might have been feeding on. I looked for twenty minutes, nothing. I don't know what they were up to.

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Re: An unkindness...

Post by Jerry Feldner » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:09 pm

Yuccahead makes light of this statement, "...they prey upon endangered species, etc."

Yes they do. Historically, Ravens were not in the Mojave Desert. They were in the mountains surrounding the deserts but didn't really go down in the flats until Man came along with his garbage. A raven likes nothing better than to check out the massive piles of garbage we propagate in the deserts. That is, unless they can get a baby Desert Tortoise{DT} (one of the endangered species alluded to above) and eat it. I have seen perches in the deserts, usually power pylons, with well over one hundred shells of baby DTs on the ground around it.
My son worked on a project with Cal Fish and Game to get rid of the dangerous ravens near the town of Mojave. They used Starlicide, a species-specific poison and laced, you guessed it, garbage with it. That is, until the (In)Humane Society found out and got a court injunction against killing the ravens. So, an endangered species suffers because of it.
Last edited by Jerry Feldner on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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yuccahead
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Re: An unkindness...

Post by yuccahead » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:23 am

Jerry Feldner wrote:Yuccahead makes light of this statement,
My intent was not to make light of anything. It was just a short disclaimer intended specifically for Jerry Feldner in hopes that he would just take this thread at it's intended entertainment value, however low that may be. I've read the paragraph in his reply several times here on DUSA, and while the raven predation on desert torts is serious and bears finding a solution, the raven is not a problem here in Utah and their high intelligence and resourcefulness as survivors is still fascinating to me.


By the way, Jerry, you spelled garbage wrong. :D
Jerry Feldner wrote:to check out the massive piles of grabage

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Re: An unkindness...

Post by Jerry Feldner » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:11 am

Thanks for the headsup. This darned computer just does not know how to spell!! :oops:

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Apache Devil
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Re: An unkindness...

Post by Apache Devil » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:13 am

There are lots of ravens in southeastern Oregon. They give the sagebrush country a sort of eerie Stephen King feel.

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