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The Bird Called Raven

Updated on November 7, 2012
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My father passed away in early 2005, and I returned to Maine several times after the funeral to try to get the house in order, and make it as livable as possible since I would be returning there eventually to live. While working on the house one day, a quorum(or a flight, if you prefer), even the "flock", flew overhead toward the water. They had been creaking to one another. I looked up, and figured that it was as good a time as any to try my raven call. Two of them returned, and in midair, they interlocked beaks, did a 360, and flew off to meet the others. I don't know what I said, but evidently it was good enough to warrant a response.

I returned to Delaware after several days and eventually made it to Maine to live for three years. I had forgotten about the ravens, until of course, I was reminded by them. Friends would tell me that while I was away at work, the number of ravens in my front yard was staggering. A particularly close friend said that if anyone had wanted to break into the house that it would never happen, due to the ravens that kept watch while I was gone. Since I worked nights, I would notice early in the morning after a few hours of sleep, that there was a pile of mice in the driveway. This was not just on one day. Ravens were providing me food, as they did not see me hunting. I called to the ravens, and finally, I was visited. Try as I might, and I'm certain that I got the point across, the mouse delivery ceased. I showed a plate of my own food, and ate in front of this spokesbird. I was thoughtfully observed for a short time, and he left. The following day, I left some grapes and a few shiny trinkets in the driveway to show my appreciation for the work that they had done. The grapes and trinkets were gone, and in its place was an aluminum pie tin. I used the pie tin to provide assorted fruit like cut up apples, pieces of orange, and walnuts. Some walnuts were in the shell and others were not. I'm assuming that they figured out how to crack the walnuts to eat the nutmeat.


The Wolf Bird has been known to bond with humans quite frequently, and is generally those e without parents. However, if a wild raven pairs with a tame one, it can also happen in that case. The groups that I interacted with were most likely wandering juveniles, who are very gregarious. They are like teenagers and enjoy entertaining themselves. They will sky dance, ride updrafts, do barrel rolls, and the more mischievous will take laundry from the clothesline.

Parents usually have four or five young, all of which reach adult weight in roughly three to four weeks of hatching. Depending upon where these birds were reared, they will be fed what is handy. It could be shorebirds, deer, moose, or entrails, as an example, if raised in Maine, where I am from. Pieces of coyote or beaver found in or near traps can also be used for sustenance. Deer hair has been found quite commonly in pellets that they spit up, along with bones of small creatures, even insects.

Nests can fail due to food supply or foraging skills, but generally, it is the amount of food. Northern winters can be very hard, especially on animals. Typically, only half of these birds survive their first year for these reasons. Baby birds will be feathered in 32 days and will leave the nest in 48 days. The parents feed the young the best and juiciest meat.

They can breed at the age of 3, and it is common that some don't do so until the age of 7. Young, unpaired birds socialize, which tends to reduce aggression. It can also bring forth alliances, as groups of ravens will tend to look for food, and the more that search, the better are the chances to feed.

Studies have been done on these bright birds, and many amazing things have been learned, which I will discuss at a later time. If you are not acquainted with ravens, this could be a good time for you to learn more about them, as they can be very entertaining and very annoying. They are common in the northeast, along the Appalachian Trail, and the western part of the country.

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Most of them should be on the internet, Lomesh

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      Lomesh 2 years ago

      I carry on listening to the nesawsct lecture about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      lrc, all the black birds seem to have something to tell us. We just must learn to listen with our eyes instead of our ears, and we will learn so much.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Wbat a great hub. I have always had an affinity for the Raven and Crow. In many Native American tribes, Raven is felt to be the messenger between earth and the afterlife. I was fascinated immediately when I read that they kept a vigil over the home after your father's death. Please accept my condolences too. I learned many things from this hub, about the Raven. Thanks so much for teaching about this fascinating bird. They seem to appear everywhere I go, even here on HP. :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Bob. It seems like those are all the times that can make you or break you as a lover of animals. Many people understand so little about the wild kingdom. I learned to "listen" with my eyes, and not my ears. That bpened up a new world

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi It is one of the most magic feelings, to have a wild creature interact with you like this.

      When I was 12, I was at a scout camp and was given a baby jackdaw which had fallen from its nest. I took "Jackie" home ans he became my pet and the beloved companion of a lonely little "only child."

      His personality was complex and intelligent, from his little rages to his affection.

      He is the creature sharing my life for 3 years I remember the most.

      I enjoyed your article very much.

      Bob

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Angie, thanks for the great comments. All the corvids will mob, if given the opportunity. I once raised a Common Grackle and he was very bright. Even after his release, he'd still visit with me and perch on my shoulder while I was walking my greyhound. He did meet other area grackles and was accepted by them.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      What a super thing to have happen to you, aviannovice. I am particularly fond of the corvid family ... they are just sooo clever.

      We don't get many ravens in Cornwall, mainly crows. rooks and jackdaws but they are all so interesting in their own ways, especially crows when they get mad at the buzzards and mob them as they are flying.

      Congratulations on the HubNugget nomination ... it was well deserved.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, ripplemaker, appreciate your visit. Yes, I will visit that link.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What an inspiring story. This reminds me wonderfully that we are one with nature and animals. Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! To read and vote this way please https://hubpages.com/community/Saturday-Night-HubN...

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank you, too, Pamela. Ah, the mystery of birds. That's why I like them so much. You never know what they might do.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Christy! As you know, birds ARE my passion. Thanks and I'm glad that you liked the piece!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This is a very interesting hub. After my father died a bird came and pecked on her window everyday for quite a long time. I don't know if it was a raven, but I believe we certainly don't understand so much about these types of occurrences. Congrats on your Hubnugget nomination.

    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      Great narration, great story and great passion! Voted up, interesting, awesome and beautiful!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ann, I could write about it, but it is too short. Dreams are so fast, so there really isn't 500 words that I could come up with for that. Tell you what, though...if I win HubNuggets, how about if you interview me, and you could ask that?

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      avain, I am intrigued by your interaction with wild life. I believe some people have an extra sense for that kind of thing. It's interesting. Also, I want to know if you will write about the experience you had when your mother passed. I saw where you mentioned it, I think it was on Nell's hub.

      It might be hard to write about, but I would like to read it. To a friend, Ann

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, gamby. I appreciate your comments.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Tammy, I appreciate the vote of confidence.

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      Tammy 5 years ago

      Amazing as well as enlightening Deb thanks for your story and sharing!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, thelyricwriter. The black birds are corvids, and they are all known for their high intelligence. I am immediately drawn to them and have gotten some excellent pictures, as a result.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, and interesting. You made this fun to read. Sorry about your father Aviannovice. It was very interesting learning about these birds. I don't know much about them. I never knew they were so social and playful. Interesting read. Hope you have a great day!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so fortunate! I haven't any in OK, and I miss my group from ME.

    • itd24 profile image

      itd24 5 years ago

      Great hub. Ravens are smart indeed, we have many of them in our area.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Ben. As you can see, I adore my birds, but my totem is the eagle. I have written about that experience, which was very spiritual to me.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      I love it, great writing aviannovice. I am native American and I have a friend who is in the red hawk clan and she says her people have many tales passed down about the interaction between the hawk and it's nemesis the Raven! I once saw a hawk literally jump into a bush chasing a tiny bird (sparrow?) only to be followed by a raven jumping in after both of them!

      Best,

      Ben

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Any time, gamby.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Mrs.M. Oh, they are sure characters, as are ALL the black birds!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo

      I love ravens...great hub!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, lots of ravens in ME and the northern climes. Following you, as it only makes sense. Take a gander at "Is It Karma?" for the eagle story, and my weekly hub, "Life at Boomer Lake with Deb."

    • hecate-horus profile image

      hecate-horus 5 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Wow! I love ravens; you had a great experience with them. That's one thing I miss about Maine; I would see and hear ravens constantly. People keep saying there are ravens in PA, but I never see them.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ruby, if you like birds, I have many things for you to read, including my weekly hub, "Life at Boomer Lake with Deb." You will enjoy the stories and the photos, so have fun with it.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      You have such amazing interaction with the ravens. I am so excited to meet you on hub pages. Thanks so much for commenting on my Hub so I could read this wonderful article. I too have many ravens around my place!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I wish I knew what I said. They are really great birds.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Pamela. I am still having fun with birds around Boomer Lake in OK.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I've never seen two birds interlock beaks in mid-air and do a 360. What a thrill that must have been for you. Voted up and awesome. Sharing this one.

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 5 years ago from Canada

      I laughed! This is a great hub. I wonder what you said to them that two would fly back to look at you. And then leaving you food, that's so priceless.

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 5 years ago

      Still learning something new and interesting every time I read one of your stories! Thanks for sharing!