Ravens are among the smartest of birds

Spring is a time when a lot of scavenging is going on out there by resident wildlife.

A common raven in flight. Flickr photo by Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith.

A common raven in flight. Flickr photo by Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith.

Drive any major road where deer tend to cross and are struck by motor vehicles, you'll see raptors and corvids — eagles, crows, ravens, and magpies — sitting on top of deer carcasses strewn throughout the ditches.

The abundance of deer isn't good for the forest, but deer carcasses provide wildlife with plenty of food at the end of a long winter. Coyotes and wolves in particular, but other species take advantage of this resource as well.

A friend of mine recently set up a trail camera in the woods and pointed it toward a fresh deer carcass nearby. In the span of one short week, the camera recorded fisher, bobcat, fox, coyote, wolf, scores of chickadees and other songbirds, bald eagles, blue jays, gray jays, and crows and ravens.

Indeed, it is true that nothing in nature goes to waste.

And here in the northland, few other creatures seem more adept at finding and taking advantage of scavenging opportunities than the opportunistic, highly intelligent, and resourceful raven.

Creation stories involving the raven abound in Native American Indian lore. Native people from the Pacific Northwest credit ravens with creating the heavens and earth, as well as food to eat and water to drink. Ravens are often regarded as tricksters, similar to coyotes, but more audacious and cunning. In these many and varied stories, ravens are often said to have become black in color as a result of the bird flying through an open smoke-hole of a teepee or lodge. 

For full article, go to: DLOnline

Source, image(s), credits & more: DLOnline | Blane Klemek