[Tweeters] Corvids preying upon human baggage

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Fri Sep 19 09:26:28 PDT 2008


While rafting the Grand Canyon last winter I experienced many Raven pilfers.
It was almost a daily occurrence. One camp in particular had a pair of
Ravens which seemed to work in tandem. One would fly up totally boldly into
the camp, and then sort of fly hop to lead us away from camp. As our back
was turned, the second raven moved in on our breakfast. We did not think
this was deliberate until it happened twice more. (yeah, the dumb monkeys
fell for it twice). I got trained to turn my duffle upside down so the
zipper was not accessible and many, many times Ravens would thoroughly
investigate the tied up rafts, using their bills even to open the metal
storage box clasps. They could not open the lids, but pretty much every day
they would flip open the clasp. At all the major rapids which have raft flip
potential there were always large groups of Ravens hoping to fish the spoils
out of the water should a raft go over. At one point one of the trip
members was so fed up with Ravens she was about to start a throwing rock
campaign and just moments later the next bird we saw, was a Condor, which
soared and circled for wonderful looks. She changed her mind about birds
after that.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Snohomish County, WA
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