Monday, May 02, 2005

I got my Raven of many colors


Ravens have been associated by various cultures with different qualities. In popular western literature, they symbolize darkness, depression, and death (popularized in Edgar Allan Poe's poem, 'The Raven'). In medieval times they stood for virility. Among native cultures, Raven is the 'trickster' spirit, a popular totem, and the creator of man, who placed the Sun in the sky.

In previous post I've stated my fondness of Ravens. The USF&W use to have personnel who would chase after reported injured birds. With budget cuts it's not happening this year. I've been called numerous times to chase Ravens in my free time. My luck has not been all that good, until today.

Cindy recieved a call from a young lady who has been watching an injured Raven for the past few days. The young lady is in a wheel chair so she was never able to get close enough to see what the injury is. She had been putting out left over Subway and McDonalds and the bird loved it. She hoped it would get better on its own, but now knows that wasn't possible. I recieved Cindy's call about 4:30 asking if I had the time to check this out. I told her yes and called the woman to let her know I'd be there in about 30 minutes. I told her that I didn't have a kennel with me and I would need to borrow a blanket. She said OK.

I arrived and the young woman and her mother were outside waiting for me. They pointed to the Raven which was in a fenced in field with trees and over grown bushes. The field looked like it usually had tall grass, but it was still dead and laid over from the winters snow.

I know Ravens are very intelligent birds and this one is no different. He knew where the holes in the fence was. He knew where he could run in the under brush. After chasing him for about 15 minutes we were able to get him pinned in the corner and got the blanket over him. The long walk back to my truck was good because I needed the breather.

Now trying to transport a Raven wrapped in a blanket by myself is not on my list of the most intellegent things I have done. Even with the help of a seat belt, he was able to slip his way out with the help of the after winter pot holes. I stopped three times to recapture him on the floor of my truck, once in the middle turn lane. As I got closer to Bird TLC, I called Cindy to meet me outside and help get the bird out of my truck.

After a full exam, the bird doesn't seem to have any broken bones. An x-ray later tomorrow will determine if that's true or not. His elbow on both wings were swollen though. His left elbow had some small cuts. His left wing was wrapped and then wrapped to his body. He was placed in a clean Raven prof mew with fresh water. He didn't seem like he was very happy so Mary Bethe prepared a quale for him. He cheered up real quick.

The greatest danger ravens face in the wild is from humans. Ravens are sometimes shot, trapped, poisoned or hit by cars in urban areas. They are unfortunately viewed as pests, even though they prey on small mammals and scavenge from carrion.

Ravens are protected through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which was amended in 1972 to include corvids. This Act states that it is illegal to harm or kill certain migratory bird species. It is also illegal to possess any part of a migratory bird, egg or nest unless permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I now feel like my luck with Ravens have changed for the better.

2 comments:

vlad259 said...

Sorry to hear about the Golden Eagle. Good on you all for trying.

Although it would be better if there weren't any sick ravens, I'm thrilled to see you've rescued another one. Fantastic birds! Good luck with him. Great post.

Cheers, Matt

Dave said...

Thanks Matt!

I also would prefer for Bird TLC to be out of business because there were no sick, injured or orphaned birds. Until that day all the volunteers press on.