Other Voices
Rocky Craig Norwood Soward

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November 14, 2013
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Ravens: Mystical, beautiful omens or menace?

There are many different opinions about ravens; they vary in regions throughout the world.

Ravens are admired as a thing of beauty, worshiped by some, despised and feared by others, protected by law in places and eradicated in others.

Look up and you can see one, two, four, 10 or 20 of these large, black predator birds, (yes, they’re multiplying), observe and study them as they stare at you, hoping you don’t realize what they are doing. These birds are very intelligent and planned this evil plot (just kidding)! They are intelligent, but they’re just doing what’s natural and haven’t a clue of the outcome (but we should!)

Ravens possess an unruly appetite and force themselves past the defending parents, eating the eggs and stealing the young right out of the nest. Off they fly to where the hatchlings or young fledglings are devoured alive and then back for more. Our native song birds are being wiped out.

Given the ravens’ size and the fact that they usually raid in numbers, small or large, the other birds haven’t a chance. The consequences of our bug-eating friends being wiped out will affect the environment in ways I certainly hope we never know. Some are obvious and easy to comprehend; without their young, they will cease to exist; this alone calls for abrupt action.

I suggest a plentiful bounty that stays intact until their number is reduced to the point that their effect is nil or at least minimal. I am conveying this problem to others so it can be dealt with accordingly (it is happening).

Human kind in reality has a lot to do with this problem (roadkills, garbage from our trash cans that attract and feed them as we develop the land. See http://adn.com/2013/02/08/2782171/raven-population -growth-creates.html, and we are the only ones that can do anything about it. Watch and you will see; listen and you will hear.

Watch! See the pair of Canadian geese trying to ward off nine ravens that surround them as one grabs a baby gosling and takes flight. Look down and see the increasing amount of spiders, bugs swarming the land that native birds kept in check, eating masses for meals.

Listen! The diminishing sounds of the song birds that used to fill the air, the screaming of a small bird as it tries in vain to chase off this predator who has just snacked on its future generation, pine beetles eating and killing the trees (yes, you can hear them if you listen!).

Besides, the blue jay is enough for the native birds to contend with. This tragedy has been happening for some time now and is something we should take extremely seriously.

It is time we all watch, listen and assist our song birds by taking a carefully aimed shot at the overpopulated raven, before it’s too late!

Rocky Craig Norwood Soward lives in Nevada City.

Editor’s note: According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, ravens are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Check with the Permit Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at http://fws.gov/permits/ for information.


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The Union Updated Nov 14, 2013 10:22PM Published Nov 14, 2013 10:22PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.