Saturday, January 3, 2015

A NOT-SO-CRAVEN RAVEN


There are many ravens in this part of Arizona.  Many people mistake them for crows but there is a distinct difference.

This one was perched on a light fixture when I passed by.  He was so brazen as to stay there even as I stopped and took his picture from only a few feet away.

Inside the community center I showed the photo to the young lady working the desk and she told me it was one of a pair that apparently have roosted on the roof.  She said she had looked up ravens in a text and learned that they are generally monogamous and mate for life.  

That can mean around 20 years for ravens in the wild though the famous birds that live at the Tower of London have been known to live for 40 years.  I remember seeing them there and hearing that because of the lore that if they ever leave the British Empire will fall the ravens wings are clipped so they can't fly away.

Our ravens, with their loud calls, seem to have no inclination to leave.

No.  Nevermore.

8 comments:

  1. There was a pair that lived at my old office - I loved watching them perch on the roof. Or they might have been crows because I don't know the difference. Guess I should look it up!

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    1. They were most likely ravens. Crows stick to the rural areas. Ravens are much more social.

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  2. The Ravens are the real "Beef eaters" at the Tower. Some of them are kept in "apartments"-cages with their names on them. The Yeoman Warders, those who are referred to as Beefeaters, have the lineage of the birds going back almost two centuries. They have been trained to serve as guards of the crown jewels and other artifacts at the Tower. There are some 'yard birds' who migrate through or have taken residence, but they are not treated as royally as are the historic birds with a family line, name and pampering. They can be vicious and should not be considered pets. They are fed fresh steak each day. Learned all of this from Yeoman Warder Dennis Pritchard as I was his guest one evening for the impressive "Ceremony of the Key" a tradition of a few centuries. We were able to imbibe and share the hospitality of the private Warders pub in the Tower. We watched as a couple of the Ravens saluted the setting sun by stepping up a step as the sun dropped behind the tower wall until they reached the top landing where they nodded to each other and took up sentry positions for the night. Inside was an entrance to the Crown Jewels.

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    1. Very interesting Tom. Thanks for enlightening me. :)

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  3. I've heard that the British monarchy will fall if the ravens leave the Tower of London. The British Empire has already fallen.

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