Saturday, February 5, 2011

Part 1 Ravens of the Vermilon River. A Post to Camera-critters





A long time favourite of mine, the raven is a really handsome bird with a negative reputation as a harbinger of evil or death. So, in this first post I'm going to set the the story straight about his sterling and,of course,real mythological reputation.First to his name; he's known as the Common Raven. Wrong there is nothing common about this fellow. So let's use his second and correct name, the Northern Raven.

He is a member of the Corvid family which includes blue jays and crows. He can grow as large as 25 inches and 2.6 lbs, so he is no light weight. He is really well adapted to my area as he consumes carrion, berries, grains, small animals and food waste, and we have it all. One of the original birds of North American he crossed the Bering land bridge to settle here. The California Raven looks the same, but has different DNA. In fact, the California clade diverged from the Northern Raven two million years ago. Isn't that interesting?

He plays a part in North Western aboriginal legend as a creator god, although a trickster. He is featured in Norse legend as Hugin and Munin sitting on the shoulder of Odin as counsel. Raven Banners were carried by the Norse Jarls of Orkney, and Canute, king of England,Norway and Denmark. In Irish legend, the goddess Morrigen in raven form alighted on Cu Chulainn's shoulder after his death. And in Wales the raven is associated with Bran the Blessed. Bran's head was buried in the White Hill of London as a talisman against invasion. And what would Merlin be without his Raven familiars?

Still think he's common?

I'll put some perhaps more real facts in the second post. All information is from http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/Norther_Raven

Special Note: The British Government is considering privatizing, I guess is the proper word , some very old and famous forests of England such as The forest of Dean, Sherwood forest etc. There is a movement of course to stop this in the form of a petition. Non-citizens may sign this petition. At least take a look @ http://woodlandtrust.org.uk/protect  I personally consider forests an international asset as they trap carbon emmissions. Also sale of these ancient and historical forests will almost ensure their destruction and eclipse any reforestration programs.

A post to Camera-Critters for more critters go to: http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/

36 comments:

  1. Your blog is interesting. I had the great pleasure of visiting him.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Best wishes

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  2. Great post and photos on the Raven!

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  3. Thanks FP for the visit and words.

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  4. Thanks Steve for the invitation.

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  5. Hi eileeninmd. Thanks for the visit and cpmpliments.

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  6. Nothing common about them in my book either! these are perfect photos too.
    [you might want to visit my posts this week from the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth--I miss my siberian...]
    Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I believe we have the raven in our forest,we do have the crow.It is hard for me to made the distinction between the two.I have seen the crow steal eggs from the doves nest,& the raven has finished up a remain of a squirrel left by some unknown predator-I believe the owl- just this week.They are so quick at their job I don`t get a chance to photograph them,but instead just watch them in wonder.They are such a large bird.I love this post,phylliso

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  8. To Nonizamboni. Thanks for the tip on the races; we visited them and enjoyed them.So,you agree we just call them Northern Ravens now?

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  9. Look for the rough around the neck, phylliso. I think that's the fastest way. I've got more for tommorrow on Scenic Sunday.

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  10. Great photos and nature lesson. Certainly a 25 pound bird is no lightweight.

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  11. Thanks Yogi for the visit and words.

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  12. This is a very interesting blog. I'm in Western NY State, and we have many of the same birds, but, no Ravens, only Crows. I get a kick out of the Crows, they're so cheeky. I'll be back, to see what new creatures you have managed to capture.

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  13. Pretty similiar area, except your area is Carolinian forest,I think, I'm surprised you don't have Ravens,though. Thanks for the visit and good luck with the horses.

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  14. Hi Gary -- the Raven definitely is ia well-known creature in American Indian mythology, just as you saya, as a trickster I think. They are extremely smart birds. Do you know the difference between Ravens and Crows? I have heard a lot of ways to distinguish them, but am not sure if anything I've heard is actually correct.

    I am sorry to read that your country is having troubles with people wanting to privatize the forests; seems like greed and bad politics aren't confined to this side of the pond.

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  15. Those are great shots of a handsome bird!

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  16. Hi Gary. Great information about a beautiful bird which is pretty scarce to see in my area. Can I also thank you for highlighting the proposed sale of our forests. My local one is Delamere Forest and it is full of families walking, cycling, horse riding and picnicing throughout the year. The biggest concern to the British public is the issue of public access if the forests end up in private hands.

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  17. Nice photos of ravens. I rarely see them here but I have farmer friends who tell me they are indeed around.

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  18. Hi Sallie. If you check out the wiki entry you'll see a photo of a Haida sculture of the Raven as creator/trickester. I think it's at the Art Gallery at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. The forestry problem is in the UK, not here but I think is of concern world wide.

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  19. To EGW. They're there. They keep the highways in your part of the country clean.

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  20. Hi Andrew. The website mentioned that reforestration is necesary in many of these old forests. I guess access is just another concern to add to the list.
    There was at one time, Ravens at the Tower of London.

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  21. Hi Gary. The Ravens are still at the Tower. Seven birds,the required six plus one spare according to the website. The birds are captive though and I prefer to see free wildlife. The Forestry Commission a government funded body has managed our forests very well for years. The proposed sell off is just to raise funds to reduce our financial deficite any positives are just political spin.

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  22. The article said that captive Ravens can be taught to talk as they are natural mimics.Wonder if the Tower ones do, and if they're descendants of the originals.Minority governments are always jocking for power. They have to be watched constantly. Our partial Rt. Hon. Stephen tried to get rid of the gun registry on account of our deficit until stopped because it proved effective protection for police, paramedics and firefighters called out for domestic disputes. And he has a few more schemes which will have to be stopped.

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  23. One of my favourite Poe lines is 'blacker than the raven wings of midnight' from Ligeia.
    Nice pics.

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  24. It is a real Raven, one of the Corvids. Excellent pictures.

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  25. Hi Michael. They certainly are a rich black.

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  26. Thanks SLH for the kind words.

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  27. Hi Bob and he's a really big guy too!!

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  28. Excellent post Gary. We have a pair of Ravens that regularly fly over our house, usually very noisily. And thanks for sticking up for our forests. It's such an important issue that we can't afford to let the government plow ahead with regardless of the strength of public opinion.

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  29. Hi Adam. Ravens are great birds. Forests are too important to leave to governments or bureacrats.

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  30. Great camera critters shots! Thanks for stopping by :-0

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  31. Thanks Martha. We're glad you walked on by.

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  32. Great photos of a majestic bird. Too bad the Northern Raven's territory doesn't extend as far south as the Arkansas Ozarks.

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  33. I guess I'll just have to loan you this one Marvin.

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