The Joy of Finding a Raven's Nest: Part Two

Cheering on the developing wing dance, as they begin thinking of venturing beyond their nest.
Cheering on the developing wing dance, as they begin thinking of venturing beyond their nest. | Source
Answering my call.
Answering my call. | Source
Displaying those beautiful new, full wings.
Displaying those beautiful new, full wings. | Source
Using my outdoor voice.
Using my outdoor voice. | Source
What did you bring me to eat?
What did you bring me to eat? | Source
First flight I witnessed.
First flight I witnessed. | Source

The Common Raven can inspire uncommon joy simply by being itself, soaring across the sky, performing amazing aerial feats with ease and grace, or perching at length upon a tree top or a craggy rock formation.

Corvus corax, is the Latin name, and the bird to which it refers comes with centuries of folklore, myth and various uses of its name. Sent forth by Noah from the Ark, prior to his sending the Dove, and called upon to feed the prophet Elijah, this large bird is mentioned several times in Scripture. “The Raven,” is arguably Edgar Allan Poe’s most well-known and oft quoted poem; the scientific name was borrowed in 1989 for a Band from Germany known for its Neo-Medieval music; and the Baltimore Ravens won the 2012 Super Bowl.

When I think of the Common Raven, I recall the pair who greeted me when I walked this previously uninhabited property for the first time. They accompanied me on my hike and I asked their permission to acquire this rugged, mesa-top land. Today, I provide them with fresh water from our well, and put out seed as a thank offering for their presence and the joy they bring right outside our window.

In early May I noticed another Raven pair soaring in the sky, and then saw their nest built into a neighboring cliff. Since that first sighting of two tiny babies snuggled within the sheltering bowl of loosely woven branches, I have witnessed one of the two in flight for the first time in mid-June. Between May 7th and June 10th, I have visited and photographed the babies and their parents several times, marveling at their progress.

Because I never want to be intrusive or cause concern, I keep a distance which thankfully has ensured that whenever Mama or Papa fly by they don’t scold me, swoop too near or dive. They do speak to me in answer to my calls to them.

As the babies began to find and exercise their voices, they too began to answer my calls. That dialogue has been one of the most thrilling experiences for me.

On my last visit, I looked and looked and didn’t see them anywhere. Neither parent was atop the ridgeline keeping watch. Perhaps they were away gathering food. But the nest was empty and even the babies were nowhere in sight.

So I called to them. And they answered. Noting the direction of their young voices on the wind I ascertained their general direction and began hiking. I called again. They answered. This went on until I came to a grove of trees, looked down into the canyon and saw the two youngsters amid some big branches. Delighted, we visited; then the one I have suspected is a bit more developed, lifted off and glided slowly past me. So taken with watching this wonderful feat, I almost forgot to capture the happy sight. I closed my mouth, lifted my camera and took a shot as those glossy new wings carried that beautiful young Raven around the towering red rock formation. The other stayed in the tree, energetically inquiring about whether or not I had brought a picnic. I wondered then if that young one knew it was customary for me to bring a container of wild bird and black-oiled sunflower seeds for Mama whenever I visited, to eat and provide to the babies at her discretion.

Safe in the tree, the wondrously growing and developing fledgling raised his wings and showed off his perfect, blue-black feathers; offered a short speech; and filled my heart to overflowing.

Yes, they are growing and developing magnificently. According to The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, the Corvid legs and feet are sturdy, strong and they have grasping toes. The tarsus are smooth in the back and yet scaled in the front. I could see this clearly and the youngster was holding firmly onto the big branch.

In the midst of doing what they are designed, destined and driven to do, these Common Ravens are couriers of healing energy and bring the magic of uncommon joy to this grateful visitor.

This wonderful book contains a tremendous amount of easily understood information.

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Comments 6 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Told very well, Linda! You have a very personable style of writing that makes the reader welcome and transports us to the setting of your time travel without the molecule rearrangement. :)

I hope you are well my friend. Blessings to you always.


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Wow, thank you for those generous words, Sir William. They mean a lot coming from such an accomplished writer. As I wrote the beginning I wondered if it would pass Bill's wise and compelling 10 Second Rule...I am eager to read more of your hubs and need to MAKE the time :~)

I am indeed well and trust you & your beloved are, too! Blessings my friend for your attentive support. L.

grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Linda, you had me with the title! I have a pair of ravens that flies overhead, taunting me with just a slight glimpse before they soar past the canopy and beyond my view. To find a nest and carry on a conversation would be amazing!

How do you call to them? Do you utter the familiar 'wonk, wonk'? I would love to have the resident ravens swoop in for a visit. The feeders are filled year round, but the opening in my wooded canopy is quite small.

I felt your joy and the amazement in your writer's voice! Very nicely done my friend ;) Pearl

Voted Up++++ and pinned

Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Dear Pearl,

Thank you for "knowing." The wonder of it does engulf me! I must confess my call is rather harsh and unmelodic...I think my saving grace is the babies didn't know any better and I couldn't do any better :o)

With all the love I can convey I just say, Caw, Caw. And then talk to them. I join you in your Invitation; stay open to the magic :) Blessings, L.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Bravo, Linda! I had a group of first years back in Maine that used to visit. Once they dropped off some mice in my driveway, presumably to teach me how to hunt. I called them the next day, and showed them what I ate. left a metal pie plate out with a few nuts in shells and some fruit for them. Eventually, while I was away, they would stay in the front yard and "watch" the house. A friend told me that for all the ravens in the yard, nobody would dare try to break in.

Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Wow, Deb, that is so wonderful! There really is a special communication and communion. I feel a special kinship with Ravens. Glad to know about your remarkable experience! L.

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