Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Raven and his stash.

Tuesday August 14, 2007 in Wyoming.
(Backtracking: Typed and edited 2007-11-10)

Beth and I were just finished with Another Roadside Attraction and were walking back to our car.
It had been a very busy day of seeing Bison/Buffalo, odd trees, odd geologic formations, and a variety of other once in a lifetime experiences. We were tired, because once in a lifetime experiences tend to make you tired. We had seen enough to process for one day.

We had just seen Old Faithful do it's famous geologic burp, we had strolled around the dome looking at all of the very hot springs and mud pots that were at this site, and we had dilly dallied around long enough for the hoards of people to empty out of the parking lot after The Big Event, which of course, is the burp.
We were feeling pretty smug because we had avoided having the ice cream that was tempting us. Well actually Beth had said no when I wanted to get ice cream, but it has the same net result. So we were walking out to the parking lot arm in arm when we saw a raven on a landscaped sandy divider doing some work under a tree.
He was having trouble keeping a round stone on top of a little mound of black sand, it kept rolling off and he rolled it up to the top several times with his big three inch beak and it would just roll back down. He gave up and strutted away to hang out with another raven about twenty feet away.

I had to poke into the sand to see what he had hidden while Beth kept an eye on the birds. Both of them opened their mouths and became very agitated that I wasn't observing proper raven protocol and was actually attempting to steal their stuff. They didn't attack, but they sure wanted to. I found that he had buried some kind of white sticky candy which was now thoroughly coated in black sand.

We were not only impressed that a bird would bury some food until later, but that it would mark it with a stone so he could reclaim it later.

As soon as I stepped back, both birds started running to the candy. The one that owned it was going to reclaim it while the other one was being the “wing guard” to keep us away.

This very large bird dug it up, turned his back on us, and tried to bury it again.
After glancing back at us a few times he realized that we weren't leaving anytime soon, and so he attempted to eat it. It was too large and way too sticky to do that, so he repositioned the glob in his beak and flew away. His wing man flew off in the other direction, and we headed towards our car.

The bird with the stash

2007-08-14 Wyoming Yellowstone Birds Wildlife


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