Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Which I Find A Bouncing Baby Bird

After Jeremy came home this evening I ran off to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  I had just come up the front walk of the house with the groceries and had my hand on the door handle when I heard a tremendous fluttering racket.  A bird hopped up onto one of the chairs on my porch three feet away from me, and from there onto the table.  A very large, very black bird.  We stared at each other.

At first I thought it was a sick crow-- it was certainly the size to be a large crow-- but the proportions seemed off; its beak and feet were too large for its body and its feathers looked like they weren't quite grown in.  Also it had blue eyes.  Once it opened its mouth really wide and started yelling (and I mean yelling; it was loud) for food I finally figured out that what I was looking at was a newly fledged baby raven.

I didn't know a thing about ravens before we moved up here beyond the fact that they're featured prominently in Gothic literature and that according to my great grandmother, who knew someone with a pet raven named Jeb, they can be taught to talk and they like to steal cornbread.  I thought they were basically just slightly bigger versions of crows.  So I was blown away the first time I actually saw one here, because those suckers are huge.  We're talking a four foot wingspan, people. 

So now I wasn't nervous because I thought there was a sick bird on my front porch, I was nervous because there was a baby bird on my front porch with parents who are capable of killing baby cows (really) with their giant, stabbity beaks and who might be a wee bit overprotective of junior. 

I eased the door open and carefully slid inside.  The baby raven completely ignored me and continued pecking at the holes in the top of my patio table.  I opened the blinds so I could see what the heck he was doing out there and whether or not Mom and Dad were making a visit. 

The cats took one look and went nuts.  Despite the fact that this bird was literally half their size, had a beak almost two inches long and probably had homicidal parents hanging out somewhere nearby, they were both convinced they could eat him.  Good thing that they're indoor cats, because things probably would not have ended well.

Of course I had to take pictures, and not only was the window dirty but the cats kept blocking the view with their furry butts.  So I eased the door back open and, braving possible Death-By-Raven-Parents, snapped a few shots.  The baby didn't care in the slightest. 

He eventually hopped up on to the top of my geranium pot-- nearly knocking it over-- and spent another twenty minutes alternating between pecking curiously at the leaves and emitting air horn volume demands for food.  Then he clumsily flew off across the yard, hopped the fence and ended up over somewhere in our neighbor's backyard, where we heard him yelling for the rest of the evening. 

So that was my glorious Wildlife Encounter of the day!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely cats

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