The Raven Of The Lake

Some days you lug your camera and long lens over hill and dale” just in case” of ravens. — and never see a single one.

Some days you know they’re there by the distant calls (which can sound a tiny bit like laughter at your expense.)

Some days you wake up at dawn in your hotel room to hear a single raven call right outside your window. You fall out of bed and fumble in the dark to find your eye glasses and then the camera. Stumbling over luggage in the direction of the sound, you see The Raven Of The Lake striding majestically by and manage to take a few frames so you know later that you didn’t imagine it.

Some days you take a photo of a raven when 75% asleep through a dewy bug-screened window and you kind of love it for the magical dream feeling.

 

 

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© junehunterimages, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Crows vs Eagle vs Raven

Guess who would come out the winner in this contest?

Well, I have the answer!

Sometimes you see amazing things out in the quiet snowy forest.

Other times you see them amid the roar of traffic on Grandview Highway on a Wednesday morning!

We’d just parked the car when, over the rumble of trucks and much furious crow cawing, I heard a brief raven call.

Looking across the four lane roadway we noticed a lot of crows and one enormous eagle in a tree. No sign of a raven at first.

As we watched we noticed a bird hopping up the tree towards the eagle.

Bigger than the crows and moving with purpose.

Next thing we knew the raven had grabbed the eagle’s tail feather.

We’re not talking about a little playful tug, either — the raven HAULED that eagle right off the branch.

The eagle (a juvenile) took off with what remained of their dignity, pursued by crows.

I couldn’t see if the raven had succeeded in getting something the eagle had, or if he or she was just making a point.

This is what I managed to capture with my phone, from four lanes of moving vehicles away …

Here’s the whole video in real time, which shows the raven slowly climbing up the the eagle and sitting there for a full ten seconds before making their bold move!

 

 

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© junehunterimages, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When the Raven Knocks

My title sounds a bit ominous, like Edgar Allen Poe’s doleful visitor tapping on a window, but have no fear. In my world, when the raven knocks, you should always answer!

As winter drags on down here in the city, only letterbox shaped views of the mountains are available most days, peeking out between the gunmetal clouds.

Those glimpses do serve to remind me that the mountains and the ravens are out there — and that I might get up to see them once a week or so. Many people head south for this gloomy part of the winter, but I’m always drawn to the snow rather than the sand.

Often we get up on the mountain and there’s only a matching letterbox view back out at the city through the same clouds …

… but every time it’s wonderful in some different way.

To hear a raven calling in the snow-hushed forest — that knock, knock, knock call, something between a tapping on hollow bamboo and water dropping into a still pool — that sound alone is worth getting out of bed early and stepping into long johns and winter woollies.

You can see the raven’s chilly morning breath in this video and, if you listen closely, hear a stream merrily running in the background.

We met this suave raven below in the forest on our last trip.  I like to think I “called” him or her. I have been practicing my raven calling, with mixed results. Usually they ignore me, but occasionally they do a U-turn in mid-flight, possibly to come see if something down below is dying and available for lunch.

But, back to the raven and the beautiful call.
Like a trained opera singer, the raven pours all kinds of skill and stamina into that effortless sounding “clock clock clock.”

Head thrown back for best possible vocal projection.

Nictitating membrane of the eye deployed, giving the impression that our performer is blocking out all distraction in order to produce the purest sound.

Throat expanded, presumably to make a hollow space from which to draw that echoing call. Magnificent feathery “cravat” sticking out in all directions.

Wings held out to the side and tail spread out — that horizontal line behind the raven is the tail, held out like a fan.

The virtuoso performance …

 

For more posts on the wonder of raven calls:

You might also enjoy:  Edgar Allen Poe and the Raven Mix-up

 

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© junehunterimages, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.