First off, being that this is the first post of the new year… Happy New Year everyone! I have yet to decide on my 2010 goals and as a result my blog requirements are not set yet, but that isn’t any reason not to give a post or two. One thing is certain, I am way behind on my wildlife posts based on the number of pictures I have in my “to post” folder for my blog. As a result, I am going to bombard you with bird posts this month. To be honest, I am actually having some problems identifying a few of them which is somewhat upsetting based on the amount of bird books I own and that wonderful thing they call the Internet is not helping out. Thanks for sticking with the blog and looking forward to another year of observations.
As promised, here is the first of the bird posts. Mr. Poe would be proud, however, it personally scares the bejeezzus out of me:
We were walking around the parking lot of Old Faithful when we saw this monstrosity of bird for the first time. Although we had read about them and seen them in numerous horror movies, we had never actually seen one up close and quite frankly that was not a bad thing. These common ravens are HUGE and apparently only have one thing on third little bird brain. That, of course, being the dark seeded desire to peck our eyes out. By the way, although it scares me, I happen to really like this particular photo and had one blown up to hang in our great room.
We had a Hitchcock flashback the first time we encountered these demon spawn. As we walked across the parking lot to see the geyser a shadow crossed over us and landed directly above us on a light post. Fortunately, we had our cameras and snapped a few quick shots.
Without a measure reference it is hard to actually appreciate the size of these birds. The reference books indicate they range up to 24″ long with a 53″ wingspan. The Smithsonian guide even credits them for removing rivets from aircraft. This isn’t too surprising since they clearly want us dead.
Eventually this one heard the camera’s focus collars and quickly located the source. None to pleased, it started a loud squawking in an effort to call in reinforcements. Not wanting to test my martial arts skills against Raven-Fu we hauled it out of there and headed for the water spout.
They even stomp around with authority. At another site we were on our way back to the car when this one made a grand entrance about 20 feet from the car. Having experienced this previously, we took it in stride, but the family next to us were busing warning each other to find cover. Once landed it started goose stepping its way around the cars.
On another day I did get the opportunity to snap this one. I don’t know if this one was a juvenile or not, but it was slightly smaller than the other specimens above. After reading all three of my bird reference books and checking on the Internet, there appears to be very little distinction between the Common Raven and the American Crow beyond the smaller stature of the latter. So for all I know, this was an adult American Crow or simply a younger Raven. In either case, I’ll keep the zoom lens on and keep my respectful distance.
Pleasant dreams everyone … Nevermore, Nevermore, Nevermore