Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The wolf-bird

The raven has been called the wolf-bird, because of its tight connection to wolves. The ravens will enter the scene only a few minutes after the wolves have succeeded with a kill. The ravens follow the wolves, but could it also be the other way around?

Of course, the wolves will observe ravens in the air, circling around a carcass. But I’m thinking about something else. I’m thinking about an active role, a tell and show; a raven’s clue for the wolf to follow.

The ravens know what’s going on. It’s an overview in everything they do. The ravens also know what they would like to eat, but the wolves have to kill it first (unless the humans dump it).

photo: Henrik Nor-HansenI once tried a sound decoy on the ravens. They were gathered in the trees maybe a hundred meter away. I hid in the bushes and started the wild death-cry of the snowshoe hare.

photo: Henrik Nor-HansenWithin seconds I had a black ball of circling ravens above me. The intensity of the ravens took me by surprise.

An hour later I tried again, but this time I observed the ravens through the binoculars. Not one of the ravens got fooled. They just sat in the trees, and if anything they reacted with contempt to my little act. But it did look like they gave each other some sidelong glances.

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen