Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Northwoods Raven



Why is it that while I'm fond of crows, they don't come anywhere near to ravens in capturing my heart. Maybe it's because ravens are quieter. Or maybe it's because I associate ravens with my getaways up north. Whatever the reason, ravens fascinate me.

During the winter, when we can explore miles of woods on snowshoe that are simply inaccessible during the summer, we follow the ravens to winter kills. Talk about great nature viewing! The natural buffet attracts an amazing number of critters.

I love this raven photo: Poised on a forest snag. Pretty much where you find them, unless they're soaring overhead. Based on the brown tinge to its feathers and the reddish interior of its mouth, this is a first-year bird, born this spring. Speaking of feathers: I'm amazed at the color of the feathers in the photo, especially the purplish ones in its neck. I didn't see them while taking the pictures: I'd come around the corner on a trail and surprised the bird. I only was able to snap two quick photos before it lifted off. It's always nice when you find a fun surprise like this in your images!

For a really neat look at a raven's "ruff," visit Mia's On The Wing Photography site.  Of interest, it's not actually called a "ruff" on a raven. Other birds, like the Ruffed Grouse, have, well...ruffs, but this area of neck feathers is called "hackles" on a raven - like you'd find on a dog. Not sure how that difference in terminology developed, but it'll make good research this winter!

11 comments:

  1. A magnificent bird, both individual and species. I always get a thrill when I see one, or, more often (but, in sum, rarely), hear one. A pair nested in Queens, NY, a year or two ago, so they seem to expanding their range out of the mountains and woods.

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    1. Wow - that must've stirred up some excitement, Matt - nesting ravens in Queens! Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing the info on the Queens' ravens.

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  2. Great post. I rarely see ravens around my area and I see the difference now between the American Crow's head and their heads. Their beaks are also different, Love to read some more of your sightings!

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    1. Maria, as always it's so nice to hear from you. I'm looking forward to following your posts during our snowy winter!

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  3. Tami,

    I adore Ravens, they are so intelligent and I think they are beautiful too. Love your image of this young Raven and the story you wrote to go with it. Thanks also for the shout out.

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    1. Thanks, Mia. I'm not sure who was more surprised when I turned the corner on the trail, me or the raven. Your images showing the hackles are amazing.

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  4. I love Ravens too. They have started nesting here in Connecticut but I first remember encountering them up north-(northern Maine,Vermont and New Hampshire). Watching them dive and roll in the wind is an awesome sight.They are fascinating to watch when fledgelings are out of the nest and interacting with the adults-very vocal.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Larry. You live in a beautiful part of the country - we were just out that way on a road trip.

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  5. I don't believe I have ever seen a Raven in person before. Awesome photograph of this very cool bird! The feathers are beautiful.

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  6. Ravens are wonderful intelligent birds.. Nice surprise for you to capture this image.. Examining photographs of birds almost always leads to increased knowledge..

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