Thursday, November 16, 2006
Stop Thief.... I said Stop
Corvids, Crows, Ravens, Magpies and others, all birds of this family are known to be tricksters and just too smart for their own good more often then not. The Ravens up here are the size of a lap dog and at least twice as smart.
Crows in Kelowna (BC) would fight seagulls for the pleasure of eating leftover Mac Donald’s French fries. Now these crows could put up a good fight and would often win. The nature of the object of desire raises some doubts as to exactly how clever these birds really are, that is a separate post. In contrast a Raven from Yellow Knife or other Northern locals would employ a different strategy.
I will assume that the Raven has some desire for MD's French fries, rather then fight over left overs that nothing in its right mind would want to eat, the bird would take a direct approach. Theft
To gain access to French Fries it would find a unsuspecting mark, play cute to get the sucker to want to feed it. Once the Raven is close enough in its buddy would sneak up from behind steal your wallet and grab some change. The pair would then fly off and get them selves some fresh French Fries.
Now for a true story.
On an afternoon in early fall (August at this latitude) on a visit to a Drill to check its progress. As Mat the other geologist was chatting with driller’s helper I spotted a proud looking bird with an indistinct brown object in its beak.
The object in the birds clutches was the driller’s helper's sandwich. As it was Prior to our visiting the drill the Raven had made a solid attempt to steal that meal, having made some progress towards unzipping the bag the food was in.
Darrel, the helper put the bag in what should have been as safe place, under a peace of machinery of some sort.
Now is the Raven smarter then the helper I will not say for fear of encouraging the bird and possibly offending driller’s helpers everywhere. However, the bird’s brains were underestimated, as Mat was chatting the bird stepped in when now one was looking.
It pulled the medium sized backpack out from under the machine and climbing on to the bag pulling the zipper open.
The net result, one proud and well fed bird, a swearing human and evidence of tool use in wild animals.
So Long for Now