onsdag 23 april 2014
The annual site visit
Since some years back, Mathias is lecturing on the course Ecology of behaviour/ethology given at Lund University's Biology department. As a part of the course, the students visit the raven facility to conduct an assignment "in the field". Usually the task is to establish the dominace hierarchy among the ravens, but as we have them separeted in three different aviaries during breeding season, there isn't much hierachy to observe. Instead the students were assigned to construct a so called ethogram, which, shortly put, is a behavioral catalogue of a species.
Photo: Can Kabadayi
fredag 11 april 2014
Tired and untidy
In the adjacent aviary Rickard and None is surveilling the sorroundings. A bit bored, since they are temporarilly separated from the other males to avoid conflicts during breeding season. Suddenly Rickard feels the urge to claim his territory by fluffing and vocalizing. Even I, who has seen this type of display thousands of times, is impressed.
torsdag 10 april 2014
Visitors from Turkey
As usual None was keen on meeting some new people, and happily introduced herself to Can's father. Kindly enough they brought us some excellent Turkish delight, and fresh walnuts for the ravens. However, unlike all other crow birds I have met, the ravens are totally uninterested in nuts, even though you would think they should value them as fatty and nutritious.
Siden and Juno in the adjacent aviary didn't seem to mind the visitors much, and tomorrow I will tell you how many beaks I saw today....
måndag 7 april 2014
We are so curious about the number of chicks in the nest! Last year, four chicks hatched, but only three made it to grown up juveniles. The nest is shaped like a funnel, but it is already possible to see beaks while they are fed - with binoculars and from a distance. So I offer Siden different food, and then I run through the aviary complex and through the horses' enclosure to stand prepared when Juno lifts herself from her young. How many beaks did I see? At least four...! I think.
On TV 4 News
Some weeks ago, TV 4 news also reported on the raven research. See it HERE.
torsdag 3 april 2014
As we don't know exactly how a perfect diet would look like, we try to provide the raven parents with as various food as possible to choose from. So far, the young might have tasted beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, egg, cheese, rice and bread. We also try to sneak in vitamins and calcium by offering it in a mixture of meat already chopped up in baby portions.
But Siden is very picky, and tastes everything himself before he brings it to the nest.
He is also very thorough when he caches the food. It has to be protected from swarms of hungry tree sparrows during the day, and rats during the night. The salmon was hid in a corner with a massive piece if wood dragged over, and placed on top of it.
I knew I jeopardized the hideout when I went over to take a photo - crow birds are very sensitive to others paying attention to their caches - and as soon as Siden saw me closing in on the cached salmon, he rushed over to find a better spot.
The better spot turned out to be under a pair of woollen gloves that Siden stole from Can sometime during winter, and I had to make sure to take the photo by stealth this time.
|The capable father.|
tisdag 1 april 2014
Tiny pieces of meat
When I checked in on them before nightfall, two wild ravens lifted from the ground next to the aviaries, and all our ravens were on their toes. Even Juno was out from the nest, so I assumed she helped chasing the indruders away. As it was many days since she was down, I ran to fetch her an evening snack, but when I came back she was already back on the nest. Siden, happily grabbed some meat, and to my delight he immediately started to tear away, tiny, tiny pieces of meat. That could only mean one thing! There must be a chick in the nest! I waited impatiently for him to finish, and then he flew to the nest, made the subtle feeding grunts I recognised from last year which made Juno move a bit, so he could feed the little one - I even heard the faint chirps!
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