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strange ravens

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  • Jessica Morton
    ... Wisdom begins in wonder.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 22, 2003
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      >
      >We've been wondering for months now if anyone might be able to
      >explain our raven visitors' behaviors: We have a 2-level bedroom
      >roof with a a narrow strip of windows running along the edge above
      >the second
      >roof line. When the sun hits it (about 9 a.m. lately), we hear a
      >very unusual nasal "whonk" sound along with dove-like cooing. It's ravens,
      >I assume females (based on their wooden "tock" vocalizations at other times).
      >The bizarre part is that they peck extremely hard on the windows, and
      >have left them completely beak-streaked from so many flailings at the
      >glass. Anyone have an idea what might be causing this behavior?
      >Sometimes it's one raven, other times two, never more (sorry!).







      Wisdom begins in wonder.
      ---Socrates
    • Ron LeValley
      Hi Jessica, I would guess that they see their reflection in the window and are being territorially aggressive. Sounds like a cool thing, if they don t break
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 22, 2003
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        Hi Jessica,



        I would guess that they see their reflection in the window and are being
        territorially aggressive.



        Sounds like a cool thing, if they don't break the window!





        Ron LeValley, Senior Biologist

        ron@...

        707/839-0900

        Fax 707/839-0867

        Cell 707/496-3326

        www.madriverbio.com <http://www.madriverbio.com/>

        Mad River Biologists

        1497 Central Avenue

        McKinleyville, CA 95519







        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jessica Morton [mailto:jessica@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 10:11 PM
        To: mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Mendobirds] strange ravens



        >

        >We've been wondering for months now if anyone might be able to

        >explain our raven visitors' behaviors: We have a 2-level bedroom

        >roof with a a narrow strip of windows running along the edge above

        >the second

        >roof line. When the sun hits it (about 9 a.m. lately), we hear a

        >very unusual nasal "whonk" sound along with dove-like cooing. It's
        ravens,

        >I assume females (based on their wooden "tock" vocalizations at other
        times).

        >The bizarre part is that they peck extremely hard on the windows, and

        >have left them completely beak-streaked from so many flailings at the

        >glass. Anyone have an idea what might be causing this behavior?

        >Sometimes it's one raven, other times two, never more (sorry!).















        Wisdom begins in wonder.

        ---Socrates

















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      • Feather Forestwalker
        Hi, Jessica, I think Ron LeValley hit the nail on the head with regards to the territoriality of their behavior. When ravens are beginning their pair-bonding,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 23, 2003
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          Hi, Jessica,

          I think Ron LeValley hit the nail on the head with regards to the
          territoriality of their behavior. When ravens are beginning their
          pair-bonding, several females will choose from the group of males, and
          the strongest, most aggressive birds are usually the ones that pair up.
          This is referrering to the first time, since it is known that ravens
          will mate for life and are usually extremely territorial in that they
          chase out interlopers from their breeding territory. The mated pairs
          that have a nest will protect their nest sitte and surrounding area
          starting in late December / early January. You may have noticed groups
          of four or more ravens flying cosely together, heads down in a
          fluffy-head display, females "clokking", males calling. That would be a
          group that is attempting pairing. At other times you may see a pair
          aggressively and very actively chasing off another pair or even four or
          more ravens. That would be a mated pair being territorial.

          Since there was, from your description, a group of them, I would assume
          that there's at least one female in that group that doesn't enjoy the
          competetition she's getting from the others. Males in particular, will
          hammer on a tree branch when agitated by the sight of a predator or
          other threat to the nest area and call incessantly, even at times
          swooping down or over the perceived interloper, but females will chase
          away their rivals. So, they're seeing themselves in the glass and
          assuming they are other females that are acting rather strangely -
          especially considering that the reflection is doing exactly the same
          thing as she is, without regard for "personal space," as it were. If you
          watch them on the rooftops, the moment a competing bird gets "too close"
          to a female in display, that female will peck at her repeatedly.

          Hope that's helped some? I've been watching ravens for a lot of years
          and reading up on their behavior - I especially enjoyed Bernd Heinrich's
          works on the Northern Ravens (Corvus corax principalis) of Maine and
          Vermont. Some of that behavior can be translated into our mixed group of
          Northern and Western Ravens, (Corvus corax sinuatus) I am sure.

          Have a great day,

          Feather
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