Got far off pictures of them in the trees out back, so today when they were in the front yard I took the below pictures. About 15 seconds after I took the last picture they all flew away. Click 2 enlarge.
Flickr : front yard, raven, ravens
Wow - those look like *big* birds. How big were they?
(guesstimating) Look like they're about a foot long and 6-ish inches tall. Wing-span is a couple of feet as near as we can tell. Big enough to pick up chickens, small rabbits and the like.
But they don't pick up chickens, they save chickens from being picked up by chicken hawks. I like to feed them in the winter to help keep them around. The hawks beat them here this year though and I lost quite a few hens and pullets before the protectors came.
Thanks, Tana. I actually kind of knew that about the chasing of chicken hawks, but we used to think they were crows doing it (which they might?), but cool they help protect the chickens too :-)
The American Crow is a black-beaked crow that could also be called a small or miniature raven (a raven in Europe or Africa is *really* big), whereas the yellow beaked crow is closely related, both being corvids, but is not a small raven.<-- Neither here nor there, just info. They do *not* kill chickens nor rabbits. They eat small rodents and carrion. If you leave a chicken carcass out with a tear in the skin and feathers, they will partake. they will eat whole mouse carcasses. They pick on the carcasses of deer, and gut piles, road kill and what not. But the un-torn dead is untouchable... except eyes, they just can't get to the food. This is part of the reason they are associated with death and battlefields. They harass the hawks and foxes too and are welcome here.
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