Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Raven Antics

My raven buddies are really starting to gross me out.  They've decided that they own the water bowl that I leave out for all the wildlife, and they use it for all kinds of dastardly deeds.

Sometimes their efforts are clever, but annoying, like the time I had just filled the bowl with fresh water and my husband asked me why I poured dog food into the wildlife water bowl.  I didn't.  The ravens stole the neighbors' dog food and carried each kernel over one-by-one and dropped it into our water bowl.  They are still stealing the neighbors' dog bones and bringing them to my horses too.

Other times the ravens are simply disgusting, like the time I had just filled the bowl with fresh water to find that it was now filled with blood.  I tipped it over with my foot to dump it out, because I didn't even want to know what else was in there underneath all that blood.  If I don't check the water bowl every few hours, I find it filled with maggots.

They leave dead animals or animal body parts in the water bowl or just perched up on the railings of my horse stalls on a regular basis.  Anytime I see Bombay mouthing the top rail, I have to run out there and chuck whatever gift the ravens left for him before he gets ecoli.  So, the ravens got smarter and started depositing the body parts in my horses' feed barrels.  Now I have to check them before putting hay into them each day.

I constantly see the ravens flying around with dead animals hanging out of their mouths -- most often smaller birds, rats, mice, ground squirrels, and rabbits.  There must be getting really good pickin's right now because I often find killed, but uneaten animals in strange places, like the ravens are storing them for future meals.  I found this rat on the wall behind my mailbox pillar.

He stayed there for a couple of days, and I commented to someone that I wish the ravens would take that rat away, because I don't want to touch it, and then yesterday I noticed that the rat was gone and the ravens were eating something down by the barn.  I walked up to see, and sure enough, it was the rat.

Though I'm glad the ravens are keeping the rat population down since the rats would otherwise be chewing holes in our house, I'd hate to be a little critter in my back yard with them around.  Let's just say that I'm not talking to the ravens anymore.


lytha said...

Yesterday my man was looking out the window and said, "Hey, look, that crow is tossing horse poop around! I think he's looking for corns."

(corns is a language cognate for seeds)

I said, "Yes, that is why it takes me 10 times as long to clean up poop, cuz it's flung all over, and that is why I can't feed my animals oats, like I'd prefer, instead I have to feed pellets."

*sigh* It's not just the horrible noise the crows make most every morning, in their "conferences" as I call them, it's the awful mess, and audacity. And they spend their days chasing the beautiful hawks away, squaking the entire time, while the hawks don't do anything inconvenient/destructive at all.

Ms Martyr said...

Our back deck overlooked the neighbor's yard. One of the little girls had some friends over and for some reason brought her hamsters outside. Well, as little kids are wont to do, they took off and left the hamsters behind. I was horrified to look out and see ravens tossing the poor little beasts in the air. I ran next door and told the mother what was going on. I don't know if the hamsters survived or not.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I just saw another 3-foot long non-venomous snake behind my horse trailer. It was a beautiful golden color with black markings, so I followed it to admire it. I made the snake nervous, so it went into a bush where there were a bunch of holes in the ground. Some ground squirrel got really angry with the snake and started stomping its foot on the ground and shaking its tail. I walked right up to the squirrel and stood next to it. They normally run, but this one was more focused on getting the snake away from its den, so the squirrel and I ran around the bush together trying to get the snake out. It was pretty funny.