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Ravens just want to have fun

Ravens have been associated by various cultures with different qualities. In popular western literature, they symbolize darkness, depression, and death as popularized in Edgar Allan Poe's poem, 'The Raven'. In medieval times they stood for virility. Among native cultures, Raven is the 'trickster' spirit, a popular totem, and the creator of man, who placed the Sun in the sky.

I went down to the Anchorage Boat Launch to take a break. It's always kind of quiet there during the winter, but things going on around the harbor that you can watch. There were over a dozen ravens playing in the thermals. Just floating around or chasing one another. Just serious play.

It started out as just a few then a few more flew in and before you knew we had a huge Unkindness, or was it a Constable or better yet, a Conspiracy.

BTW, our friend Clare of The House and Other Arctic Musings has written a fine essay on our feather friends the Raven called "In Praise of Ravens". You can find it at our friend Mike's place at 10000 Birds and if you have the time, compare it to the other essays and vote on which one you like best.

Comments

Marvin said…
It's hard to attribute any sinister implications to these particular birds that seem to be enjoying themselves riding the thermals.
RuthieJ said…
Unfortunately no ravens here in SE MN--although I'm entertained by the antics of a crow family in my backyard.

I've seen ravens in northern MN and enjoy hearing their "croaking" calls.
Meggie said…
Such playfulness among our feathered friends. I'm not sure I know the difference between a raven and a crow....
Dave said…
Marvin - that's true Marvin, but I do know how sneaky they can be.

Ruthiej - They are family. I enjoy watching these guys.

Meggie - a Raven is about twice as large.
Trixie said…
Have you ever had one break into something in the back of your truck, eat say the old Halloween candy, and then throw it back up all over your truck. I have....sneaky indeed. Curious, smart, inquisitive, too.

Nice shots of ravens. I love them.
Clare said…
You just have to love how Raven's play. They are masters of the air that swirls around the House when it is windy.

Thanks for the link to the essay over at 10,000 Birds. But thank you even more for the photos of my favourite bird, just havin' fun.
Clare said…
And a couple of other ways of telling Ravens from Crows Meggie (because if you see them alone size isn't always easy to determine) are...

tail shape: A crow has a rounded tail, a Raven's is wedge shaped.

Colour: Yes they are both black, but in bright sun a Crow's is more of a flat black, while a Raven's has a sheen.

Flight: A Crow has a more direct flight, constantly flapping, while a Raven will soar.

Voice: The "caw" of a Crow is higher and more nasal, where as a Raven's is deeper. But Raven's have a wide variety of vocalizations, they have one of the richest variety of calls in the bird world.
Dave said…
Trixie - I've never had that pleasure. :)

Clare - You and I have gone back and forth over the past couple of years about our fondness of the Raven. They are an enjoyable to watch and read about.
LauraHinNJ said…
I tagged you Dave.

;-)
Dave said…
Thanks Laura. :)