All posts filed under: Corvid

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay

The Feather Files Name: Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay Species: Aphelocoma woodhouseii Native to and Migration: Year round resident of the dry lowlands from Nevada, United States into Mexico Date Seen: April 2016 Location: Grand Canyon, Arizona Notes:  Unlike some other species of Jay, this one does not have a crested head.

Common Raven

The Common Raven is entirely black – feathers, bill, eyes, legs and feet! Their wingspan is 45.7–46.5 in (116–118 cm). In size, they are about half again larger than an American Crow or Chihuahuan Raven. The captive ravens at the Tower of London in England are perhaps the most famous ravens in the world, and the most difficult ones to manage: Despite their having one wing trimmed, some ravens do in fact go absent without leave and others have had to be sacked. Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials, and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub. – The Ravens, Tower of London – The most feared Raven was in the poem by Edgar Allan Poe: And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow …

Magpies – Rats with Wings

Norway Rats are one of the most destructive creatures known to man. Fortunately, the Province of Alberta is one of the few place in the world that does NOT have any rats.  What it does have are Magpies (Pica  hudsonia), which some people refer to as Rats with Wings.  A member of the crow family, they are scavengers that will eat just about anything. But much can be forgiven of them because they do not come close to being as despicable as a Rat, no matter what the movie Ratatouille might have you think. Magpies are both beautiful and comical birds with their black and white tuxedo like coat and long iridescent tails. But their raucous voice and irritating habit of harassing me when I walk in the woods – they make me less than thrilled to have them live nearby. They don’t migrate either. All winter long they leave their little forked foot prints all over the snow – reminders that they are still in town, and will be arriving any moment to scold …