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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Nov 19, 2009

Birds always bring me joy

Two days at work and two birds visit. I was delighted. I always get a little down in winter, partly because the amount of available sunlight is limited and partly because the number of birds I am able to observe is way down. Raptors and Ravens are my favorite birds, and no doubt will be until the day that I die, although I enjoy watching the antics of all birds. Raptors were the first birds to capture my attention and so will always be special in that regard. Ravens are just pure magic to watch both in the air and on the ground.

They are aerial acrobats, willing to take on any threat including Eagles and Hawks flying too close to their nests. They are survivors who will fly long distances in search of food. At my old work place there was a Raven too, he and his mate had learned to hunt pigeons, and stayed in the city year round rather than leave for the forests as most members of the corvus family seem to do each year. Ravens are also very intelligent and seem to have a sense of humor. They will learn to speak many words if they hang around humans long enough and will mimic the voices of other wildlife as well. For about six months this particular Raven and I seemed, to be playing a game on a daily basis.  I would go outside for my break, he would watch me until I reached into my pocket for my camera, then just as I would turn it on he would pull his disappearing act by flying off over a building or ducking behind it. While this was frustrating, it was funny as well. I don't know if he just didn't like the sound of my camera, was playing catch me if you can or hide and seek, but when I received a new and quieter camera I was rewarded with a few great shots of him after all. Funny thing is he was as content to watch me as I was to watch him, until that camera was brought out.

This little Merlin visited us today by flying into the warehouse after a pigeon who was in desperate need to escape its claws and hunger. Merlins and Prairie Hawks do not migrate in winter as most hawks do. So I do get lucky and see them quite often, when I do a little walking, and they seem to do quite well in the city, at least for now. I do not know why Raptors are so special to me, except that they seems to appear around me all the time. The first Raptor I ever saw was a red tailed Kite. I was staring out the window of my classroom one day when I was seven or eight years old as a child in Germany, because I was quite simply bored with what the teacher was teaching. When I spotted the bird and pointed it out to the teacher with great delight, she told the class that sadly this particular bird was almost completely extinct in Germany and that we should enjoy the sight of it as we might never see it again. The rest of the class session turned into a discussion of birds and wildlife, which I found fascinating and interesting. My interest was not unusual as I had a habit of disappearing on both my parents and my grandmother while I explored the local canals, country roads and ponds. I'm sure it was of some serious concern and frustration for them but it brought me joy, and I would often drag my sisters with me to do so. I did see that Kite several more times before we moved to Canada, so I am grateful for that, but I do not know if the species managed to survive to fly the skies in Germany. I certainly hope that they did.

If you wish to learn more about Raven and Merlin follow these links:



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