Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Raven Family

For the past weeks, I have had company every morning while I feed the horses. A raven family appears every day and hangs around while I toss hay. The two juveniles are only a bit smaller then the parents in height but more noticeably smaller in fullness and girth. However, it is their behavior that gives them away as being youngsters. They spend most of their time bothering their parents for food with their open mouths right in the parents' faces while they make raucous loud noises. The parents try to ignore them but always end up giving in and stuffing their caws with regurgitated, yummy food. Watching this daily morning performance, I have learned that the inside of young ravens' mouths is bright red, likely making it a better target for the parents. The youngsters are absolutely tireless, and never ever give up. They are capable of finding their own food and can do so, but prefer to badger the parents and get the partially digested food from them. Being ravens, they are smart and fearless. They know the horses are no threat and walk around them at will. They are slightly wary of me, having learned that I am no threat to them but since I am a strange being, they retain some wariness and will move if I get to about 3 feet away from them. One of them is starting to figure out that sitting real near a bucket of senior feed while a horse eats, just may garner a reward of spilled good stuff as the horse dribbles some feed about. This could prove to be an interesting development to watch.

They add enjoyment to my early mornings.

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