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RE: [Mendobirds] strange ravens

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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