An Unkindness of Ravens

7 Apr

My family and I love TV. We watch a lot of TV together as a family. We just got that gargantuan couch to make it easier to watch all that TV together. One of our favorite shows for family viewing is Stargate SG-1. It is just about to have its final season. We normally TiVO our shows and watch them later so that we can skip through the ads. Last night, we didn’t have much on the TiVO recorded so we watched an episode “live” — it was agonizing. Along with the normal inane ads, SciFi also advertises their own productions and movies that the advertisers think they’ll like. Stargate SG-1 is a fairly well-written, fun, family-friendly good-guy/bad-guy in space show. I’m not sure why that means that we should want to see violent slasher movies but evidently it does. The latest SciFi movie was the one that really got me though. It’s called Kaw and it’s about – evidently – Ravens gone bad. Picking up where The Birds left off without realizing that Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he LEFT OFF there. Sigh. This post is not about that although someone who watched that movie might be a little nervous after reading my post!

So, yesterday at BCE, the Ravens decided to have a meeting. I came out of my classroom and saw them gathering on the playground. Some walked in, some flew. I wonder what is on the agenda.

The Unkindness forms


What are they talking about?


They have got something to talk about

As you an see, the discussions were intense. Were they discussing the best techniques for getting trash out of the trashcans? Was it “Who will be the sentinal in the the trees after snack recess” vote? Perhaps it was what to do about the two crows who have recently been hanging about, pretending to be Ravens. Maybe it was just food finding strategies during the lean week of Spring Break. Hard to say but they all had a lot to say on the matter.



I don’t know what their decision was but I think this shot proves that a decision was, in fact, made. Plans were set. Plays were called. Huddle up, Ravens.


More displaying

After the meeting broke up, there was lots of posturing and small group discussions going on.



Several of the Ravens felt the need to puff themselves up and display their Raveny-charms.


Look at me!

This guy is impressive, eh?


Walking Ravens

These two are walking away now. Were they talking about who brought the snacks? About the stupid thing that that one Raven said? About the plan that was decided on that they know won’t work but who will listen to them anyway?

Okay, so, seriously. I have no idea what was going on but I’ve never seen them act this way before. Normally, after recess, they come down and clean up all the food scraps left behind by the kids. One or two stand guard in the trees above and the rest have important work to do getting food. I call them the Clean-up Crew. Today, that is not what was going on. Was it some mating thing? I’m puzzled by that as they were pairing up back in January. Maybe it was the younger crowd getting together to practice their displaying away from the watchful eyes of the older ravens. Don’t know — there was a lot of displaying but I didn’t hear any of the bill clacking sounds that I hear when the Ravens are wooing one another. So, I don’t know what they were doing. When it was over, they all just sort of wandered off. Fascinating.

As for me, well, I’m just glad that they chose to have their meeting in the bright sunshine so I could get such great shots of them. They were totally uninterested in me but I didn’t push it by coming too close. And, I loved the contrast of the brightly colored playground equipment and their shiny blackness. A very satisfying photo shoot!


8 Responses to “An Unkindness of Ravens”

  1. lizalee 7 April, 2007 at 8:01 am #

    Sarala let me know that this post wasn’t accepting comments. I think I fixed that!

  2. Mary 7 April, 2007 at 8:24 am #

    You shouldn’t be just satisfied – you should be ecstatic! I’ve never seen a Raven, Liza. They are beautifully black and seem to have active lifestyles and quite vocal, right? Your narrative is so funny! I do wonder what the huddle meant! Great photos. Isn’t it fun to know you’ve captured something special to blog about?

  3. Laura 7 April, 2007 at 4:48 pm #

    Great pics – love their *ruffs* – is that what they’re called?

    Wonder what it was about, too.

  4. mon@rch 7 April, 2007 at 5:37 pm #

    The meeting of the Ravens is a stunning post! Just look at all those pictures and I am always trying to do my best in getting their picture (and always fail)!! Great work and I think they are catching up with some old times (besides the trash can discussion).

  5. jayne 8 April, 2007 at 4:13 am #

    Oh my… wonder what on earth they were cooking up? What wonderful photos Liza! I don’t believe I’ve ever really seen a raven up close like that either. Cool!

  6. robin andrea 8 April, 2007 at 7:12 am #

    Love that huddle pic. They do look like they were deep in discussion about something. Maybe they’re going to write a poem about Edgar Allen Poe.

  7. Larry 9 April, 2007 at 3:48 pm #

    That is awesome! Ravens are so smart.-It really makes you wonder what they are up to.

  8. Mia's Grandma 9 April, 2007 at 9:04 pm #

    Such a hysterically fun post. It’s like a little culture happening here, and you caught it on film. Great stuff. Thanks! (thanks too to Mon@ch for the link to you.)

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