The Raven Diaries: An end and a beginning

June and July simmered  into the first week of August 2012.   The summer cooked on as I watched how the ravens were dealing with the heat. Ravens have that all black plumage which is definitely a heat sink and they were constantly moving in the sun. I saw that their bills were always open. This must be their cooling mechanism. Throughout the month, the ravens ranged farther away from the nesting sight. Often I heard them in the woods across the road that ran above PsiKeep.


Unfortunately the story of Sammy does not end well.
One early August morning I noticed that Sammy and another fledgling were missing. A few days later the last fledgling was gone from the group. This was highly unusual. In the weeks before the disappearance there were no signs that the parents were driving off the young. The raven family moved as a small unit constantly calling and signaling to each other and feeding together. I also observed some sharing of food with each other, especially with the food that I set out.

At the same time that the offspring disappeared, I received an email from a neighbor regarding another neighbor who lived across the valley.  That neighbor had found two dogs in her goat pen slaughtering her goats.  She had shot one dog and had caught the other and had it picked up by Animal Control.  Were the ravens attracted to the slaughter and the scent fresh meat? Had they been shot by the over zealous neighbor?

I will never know. But I observed a change in the behavior of the parent ravens. At first they looked as if they were languishing in the trees. For days they sat silently  up in the blue pines only coming down to feed in the orchard in the late afternoon and early morning.

Several weeks later they returned to the nest. I could see them  climbing around the nest and quietly calling to each other. It looked as if they were making futile attempts to repair the nest but nothing came of it.

The mated pair stayed  through the winter feeding on the last of the persimmons  all the way through December.

This spring the mated pair hatched out the four raven chicks. As I type this I can hear, even from inside the house, the new fledglings squabbling in the nest above my study.


Posted on May 26, 2013, in Psi Keep Center for the Arts, Ravens, Uncategorized, Unforeseen Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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