torsdag 25 februari 2016

Early birds?

Last year Rickard and None shocked us by all of a sudden building a nest in one of the experiment compartments. This was mid March. Then last Friday I noticed that all twigs and branches in the aviary was gone, and when I looked up, I saw this - almost one month early!

Today when I was running some tests on Rickard in the outdoor experiment area, he was only interested in gathering small pieces of lining anad dried grass. So I had to give him some time alone, let him back in with None and the nest, and then ask him to come back for the experiment. And once all the lining material was gone, it worked fine.

Usually the horses have started to loose their coat when the ravens are nesting, but this year it is so early that they have to make do with my home made strings of jute.

A bit afraid of the phone at first.

Getting closer.
Rickard was the most daring, and flew off wtih a mouthfull.


måndag 22 februari 2016


Tosta and Embla bathes in the snow.

Busy, busy days

Breeding season is coming up and there is so much to do! Once the females are on the nest we cannot work with the pairs until the chicks have fledged - a period of about 4 months. Another thing we wanted to do before breeding was to divide the largest aviary, housing the pair Rickard and None and the two females Embla and Tosta, so all birds get equally big space during breeding season. Once the courting behaviour starts we separate the breeders from the non-breeders to avoid any aggression.
At the same time we have been sprinting to end the experiments - a long-term planning study and a study on string-pulling involving all six birds - so it has been difficult to decide when to start the new construction.
However, as our birds are older and more used to different things the construction work went surprisingly smooth, and the ravens were happy to try out the new shelves and branches only after a day or two. The young females Tosta and Embla were also content with the new part and are separated from Rickard and None from now on. Hopefully we will be able to let them together again when autumn comes, but as ravens are territorial birds once they form pairs, we will have to wait and see.