Monday, November 29, 2010

The Racket

Yesterday I heard a bunch of crow racket outside. I had put out some peanuts on the driveway so I went out to see if this was the cause of the cacophony.  I looked up and there were many crows swirling around above my head but HARK- there was a raven in the middle of the crow convergence.  I could see his wedged tail- then he croaked- a raven for sure.  It appears that this is crow country and ravens are not welcome.  I am going to have to overcome this situation somehow.  Just when I saw a raven- I had run out of eggs.   I had used every last one to make muffins.  So it is off to the store for more eggs.   It truly may be possible to attract a raven.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ravens and the Double Rainbow

The other day we were out driving around in the vineyards.  It was threatening to rain however there was sunshine where we were located.  It looked like it was raining hard in the distance.  As we got closer to the rain, a double rainbow appeared.  Wow!  You don't see that very often.  Two complete rainbows.  As we drove closer we could see where the lower rainbow of the two appeared to touch the ground.  As we got closer still the rainbow seemed to touch down in a vineyard.  The colors were so bright and beautiful and just about this time- two ravens flew across the rainbow.  I REALLY wish I had a camera at that moment.  It was a very special sight.  Something to remember always.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Raven Fun at the Beach

Off we went to Bodega Bay for three days to enjoy the ocean and look for ravens, of course.  While over there, we visited a state beach called Goat Rock along the Sonoma Coast.    It is steep drive down the hillside to the parking area next to Goat Rock.  Goat Rock is quite large and sticks out from the steep hillside.  It must have been MY day because there were a pair of ravens flying around the rock area.  There were also quite a few sea gulls in the area.  I had come equipped with hunks of sour dough french bread and nuts of various kinds for the ravens.   On my first try to feed the ravens, the sea gulls immediately came swooping down and got all the food.  The ravens just don't compete with the sea gulls- much like the crows and the bluejays.  They will fly at the sea gulls to try and get them away from the food, but meanwhile another sea gull flies in and gets the food.  What to do, what to do.  There was a big rock about 10 feet tall near the cliff where the ravens were perched.  So with stealth ( oh yeah) I sneaked around the back of the rock which faced the ravens and stuck hunks of food in some rock crevices.  I then slowly sauntered away from the rock and then watched the ravens.  They came down and got the food without attracting the sea gulls.  This worked two more times and then the sea gulls got wise.  They started sitting on top of the rock and that was the end of my subterfuge.  Well I did have some fun with the ravens of Goat Rock.

The next day we went to Doran Beach to look up the raven pair that live there.  As soon as we drove in the campground we saw the raven pair flying over the dune area near the ranger shack.  They were headquartered in some big conifer trees by the entrance road, the ravens NOT the rangers!  I thought, how am I going to attract their attention?   So I decided to lay a sesame cracker trail.  I put crackers on the sign posts which were located down the side of the road.  I also held some up over my head as I walked.  All the while- I was yelling RAVENS!  The ravens were sitting together in the tree watching this performance.  Ravens are very nosy and were probably enjoying this strange human behavior.  I dropped some crackers on the ground also and then walked a distance away to watch.  The ravens flew back and forth over the food sources, coming down and then flying up.  They finally landed near some of the crackers and nuts on the ground.  They did the usual raven thing, jump forward and then jump back- to see if the food was alive.  They finally picked up some of the crackers and flew off.  After the third trip of picking up food- oh no- the seagulls caught on and tried to take the food away from the ravens while in flight.  It is a jungle out there!!!  All and all it was a great trip to Bodega Bay.  Some rain and some sun and a great place to eat at River's End in Jenner by the Sea.  I highly recommend it.
When I got home I checked my feeding station on the pole.  Something had eaten the egg and left part of the shell.  Hum- who did that?  A crow or a blue jay?  A raven might have done it but they usually pick up the egg and fly off with it.  One can only hope it was a raven.  I will put another egg out today and see what happens.  I have a squirrel baffle on the pole so that squirrels and raccoons cannot get up to the platform feeder.  So I am still on a raven watch at Crystal Court.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


,I went on line to find a platform feeder, pole and squirrel guard to implement my plan to attrack a raven.  The goods arrived and Chuck put up the new feeder.  We placed it in the back yard in view of a number of very large trees.  Birds do sit on the top of these trees and can see into our yard very easily.  The first day I put out peanuts in the shell and one raw chicken egg into the platform feeder.  The next day, the peanuts were all gone but the egg remained.  I put out some more peanuts- same result.  The next day Chuck saw and heard a pair of ravens flying overhead.  He was sitting in the backyard reading when they flew over- so there are ravens in the neighborhood.  They were flying fairly high and fast- in a hurry to go somewhere.  So I will be patient?? 
When I lived on Mt. Veeder I put an old chicken egg from the refrigerator out on the ground.  I thought some critter will eat it.  I was looking out the window and saw a raven come down and pick up the egg and fly off with it.  That was my first aquaintance with the wonderful raven.  I think I need to do a dance/incantation or something to bring a raven down to check out the egg at our new locale.  Any suggestions???
Last Sunday there was a great show on Nature called a Murder of Crows.  It was a great show but NOT as neat as the show they did on Ravens- but then I am prejudiced.  I do have my band of crows coming each morning for peanuts.  They are funny birds.  I think they are getting used to me and know that I am the purveyor of peanuts.  The Nature show described how crows do recognize human faces.  They did some experiments to show that was true. So I may be known to a whole murder of crows in the near future! I don't put the nuts out until I hear the crows out front.  If I put them out too early, then the blue jays get all the peanuts.  The bluejays are much more aggressive at retrieving the nuts.  All those corvids are just the bees knees- aren't they??