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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 03:57 AM
Original message
Ravens form a wake-like gathering after 2 electrocuted
FAIRBANKS -- Ravens have feelings, too, at least judging from an eerie scene Tuesday morning on Minnie Street in east Fairbanks.

After two ravens roosting on top of a power transformer were electrocuted, hundreds of ravens showed up within a minute or two and started silently circling overhead and perching in nearby trees.

Rod Stephens, owner of Rod's Saw Shop across the street, saw the scene play out before his eyes after a man pulled into the shop and reported seeing sparks flying on top of the transformer.

"I walked out there and there were all these birds just circling. There were ravens in all the trees," he said. "It was weird."

Stephens estimated the number of ravens at "a couple hundred."

"It was like that movie, 'The Birds,' " he said. "I walked out and wasn't sure if they were going to start dive-bombing me."


Ravens are federally protected birds and they are holy creatures in cultures up here. They also fly for the fun of it, rip your windshield wipers off for sport and caw and crackle and pop when they get cold, fuzz up their feathers on the top of some high place and bitch about the cold. I love them.
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 04:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. BS unless the ravens were drinking and fighting with their uncle it wasnt a wake.
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FreedomFry Donating Member (341 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
29. I had the same experience with crows!
Several years ago, I was called into the back yard by a cacophony of crows. Hundreds of them circled overhead, cawing, for at least 20 minutes, and I was reminded of Hitchcock's "The Birds" as well. It wasn't clear why they were doing this until I went into the front yard. There, in the street in front of our house, was a dead crow. They say elephants can remember where a family member died; when they pass by, they linger and grieve over the spot. Crows and many other bird species are extremely social. Why shouldn't animals have feelings and memories, too?
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 04:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. BS unless the ravens were drinking and fighting with their uncle it wasnt a wake.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 04:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. bwahahahaha!
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
36. Haha!!! Nice. DUzy material!
:rofl:
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. Do you have a link to the story?
Or is this the whole article?
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Link
Edited on Mon Nov-23-09 05:17 PM by jgraz
http://www.enquirerherald.com/365/story/975110.html

Ravens are extremely intelligent birds -- making them among the smartest and most emotionally complex vertebrates on the planet.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Agree. I think they are at least to rungs above tea-baggers. nt
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. Why is it every time we talk about how dumb the teabaggers are, we fuck up the spelling?
I do it myself. It's like thinking about stupidity makes you dumber.

Either that or another visit from the irony fairy. :P
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Help me out here. Are you saying tea-baggers is wrong and teabaggers is right? nt
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Chellee Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. no.
he's saying "to" is wrong and "two" is right.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Of course. LOL. My mistake. My finger type phonetically. I occasionally type "ov" for "of".
Many that dont suffer from what-ever-the-hell is wrong with me dont understand my affliction.

I do stand corrected.
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Chellee Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I think the latin name is typus toofastus. nt
:-)
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. I wish. In my case it's brainistooslowus. nt
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Here's another link.
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. Ravens are cool.
Big, too. When I was vacationing in Death Valley, I would crinkle some cellophane and the ravens would pop out from under the shade of the date palms in Furnace Creek to see what I had for them.
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yawnmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. Soon after they were seen fighting to peck out the eyeballs of the dead birds eom
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. Crows do the same thing...
...There are plenty of documented cases of it. They're intelligent animals that are good at problem-solving and fashioning tools. Corvidae are interesting critters.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Here's a photo of a tool-using crow

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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Intelligent crows...
Aesop's fables: more fact than fiction?

Aesop's fables were my favorite bedtime stories. When I was little, I must have listened to my mom read "The Lion and the Mouse" and "The Crow and the Pitcher" a thousand times.
Rooks are able to solve complex problems using tools and can easily master the same technique demonstrated in Aesop's fable.



Rooks are able to solve complex problems using tools and can easily master the same technique demonstrated in Aesop's fable.

Now it seems that at least one of these moral lessons may also be laden with some truth. A new study says that the fable about the thirsty crow might really have happened.

The story goes something like this: a parched crow discovers a pitcher with the water level too low for him to reach. The crow cleverly raises the water level by dropping stones into the pitcher.

Scientists report that rooks, a relative of the crow, have demonstrated the same stone-dropping strategy to get at a floating worm. Results of experiments with four captive birds were published last week in the science journal Current Biology.

Christopher Bird (yes, his real name) of the University of Cambridge and Nathan J. Emery of Queen Mary University of London exposed the rooks to a 6-inch-tall clear plastic tube containing water, with a worm on its surface. The birds used the stone-dropping trick spontaneously and appeared to estimate how many stones they would need. They learned quickly that larger stones work better.

"It was a remarkable combination of some understanding of the task with really rapid learning," Bird said.

Crows, rooks and other corvids don't use tools in the wild because they typically have easy access to food like carrion. But in captivity where there is often a reward to figuring out how to perform a task, they are known, for example, for using sticks as probes, or fashioning hooks out of wire. And this fits nicely with Aesop's moral that little by little gets the job done, or, necessity is the mother of invention.

Bird also suggested that Aesop may have observed similar behavior in a crow or perhaps a rook. "In folklore all members of the corvid family are just called crow," he said. "So it might just as easily have been Aesop's rook."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/pets/category?blogi...
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Here's a great, short TED talk on crows:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
11. My two conures did that
when we showed them Tuky's body. It was... eerie and a behavior we did not expect. They just were tehre, silent, or cooing so low we could not hear it.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
13. I guess humans will always underestimate the other creatures that inhabit this planet.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Because we're God's special little monkey**nm
**
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
15. Odd that you posted this, I saw this same behaviour a week ago
while I was walking my dog.
I heard this LOUD screaming from what sounded like hundreds of crows, and more than I had ever heard..as I turned down the street to see why, I saw a single crow lying in the parkway, injured and dying..
I honestly think every crow in town were in the trees surrounding me. They were pretty much telling me to LEAVE and protecting their friend.
I have seen crows drop pebbles on squirrels near a pond I once owned.
They are very very bright.
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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Saw a documentary
about crows/ravens a while back that was very enlightening. I have not seen this most recent one by David Suzuki, but I definitely will try to find it: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/natureofthings/2009/mur... /

The one I saw told of how male adolescent crows, 1-3 yrs I believe, form these all male communities and move, feed, live, etc. together. I know you all here have seen a field full of crows feeding on something like corn, etc. The females in their early years stay with the parents and help raise up the next brood and learn how to tend and defend a nest, essentially learn how to be a parent, etc. They do not form all female adolescent communities like the males do. My guess on the subject story from Alaska is that this was one of those communities and they were close by and knew what had happened.

In our neighborhood here we have one of these adolescent male communities and they do make a good living on the fruit trees, etc. in our area. Last year they cleaned out our fig tree in one afternoon. I witnessed them eating almost the entire contents of a small plum tree in the neighbor's yard this year. They are very smart and they are very vocal. The documentary I saw listed their having a rather extensive vocabulary, one of the more interesting sounds being one of a castinet-like chortle, alternating with a little "woe is me," sounding child's voice. I hear them doing this in our spruce tree all summer, especially when the puppy is in the back yard.

The documentary we saw depicted crows fishing, in that an ice fisherman in Minnesota wondered who was stealing his fish and set up a video cam to find out. His find was a crow that flew in and waited until it saw a fish was on the line, then walked over and started pulling the line up out of the water with its beak and holding it in place on the ice while it hauled the next length up and out, and so on until the fish emerged. It then removed the fish from the hook and ate enough to fly away with the remainder. Mystery solved!

Other behavior shown on this documentary included a group of crows in England that had devised a way to steal most of the feed from a pen of pigs at feeding time. A few of the crows would land on the backs of the pigs and the pigs, eager to roust the birds off their backs due to pecking, etc., would begin running around the pen and bucking like broncos. This allowed the rest of the crows to eat the feed while this "rodeo," took place in the pen. Extremely amusing to see.

I have many times witnessed a few crows hounding hawks until they left the area. Crows/ravens are big and have formidable beaks to implement, etc. Crows also like to disrupt eagles when they are mating, just for the heck of it. For fun. This documentary also showed a group of crows using a snowy hillside as a toboggan run. Up and then swoosh, all the way down on their backs, then fly back up and slide down again, for hours.

Recently we had this community visit our back yard en masse to feed on something on the ground and we actually saw two of them on the ground, on their sides, playing like puppies, clawing and pecking at each other like puppies would do. These guys are smart and capable. When I showed a friend my raised bed garden with bird netting on it, he told me about a story he saw where a researcher at some university had invaded a crow nesting area to observe. The crows did not like it one bit and let him know it. Then whenever he would walk across campus, the crows would gather and make a ruckus, in obvious disdain for this researcher. He was curious if they actually recognized him, so he made several paper cutouts of his own face from a photocopy and had several students put the paper face on and walk around campus. Sure enough, groups of crows protested the presence of each and every copy of his face that they saw. Utterly amazing.

Just my dos centavos,

robdogbucky
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Crows and wolves have an unusual relationship...
...Crows will follow packs sometimes to dine on the leftovers from wolf kills. When everyone is satiated, or there is nothing left to feed on, the animals have been observed playing a sort of "tag" game with each other.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Ravens do that too.
They've also been observed to call out loudly if they see an elk or a deer or something big, so the wolves will come and kill it and the ravens will get some leftovers. They also let the whole neighborhood know if there's a nice ripe carcass about.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
33. brilliant!! thank you!!!
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. I thought you were talking Baltimore Ravens from the headline. n/t
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pinniped Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. Pigeons form a wake-like gathering by pecking on the remains of their fallen brethren.
..
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. You have actually SEEN a dead pigeon?
Thom Hartmann told me the pigeons were all really robots from the planet of the evil Lord Xenu.
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
30. I saw crows do the exact same thing in California. Very strange.
I was getting out of my car to go to work when I heard a loud explosion. A crow had been electrocuted by a transformer atop a power pole. It was still hanging to a wire by one foot. Within a few minutes there was a steady stream of crows converging on the scene from every direction from miles away. About ten minutes later there were a few hundred of them perched on the power lines around their dangling comrade. About a half hour later they had all scattered. It was surreal.
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Prisoner_Number_Six Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
31. Quoth the ravens, "Nevermore."
:headbang:
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. ...and now I have an Alan Parsons Project earworm.
The clock struck midnight
And through my sleeping
I heard a tapping at my door
I looked but nothing lay in the darkness
And so I turned inside once more
To my amazement
There stood a raven
Whose shadow hung above my door
Then through the silence
It spoke that one word
that I shall hear forever more
Nevermore
Thus quoth the raven, nevermore
And still the raven remains in my room
No matter how much I implore
No words can soothe him
No prayer remove him
And I must hear for evermore
Quoth the raven, nevermore
Thus quoth the raven
Nevermore
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
32. great post! K & R
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
35. Conference of the Birds
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demigoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
38. the other day while driving I saw a crow trying to help a fallen crow. it was
pulling on the birds wing and trying to make it get up and out of the road. it seemed worried its companion would be run over.
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