One morning last week I was travelling on the South Eastern Freeway on my way to university in Adelaide. As I was passing Mt Barker I passed what appeared to be a dead chook on the side of the left hand lane.
I guess it was a foul way for a fowl to leave us. Someone in a nearby house must have missed their egg for breakfast that morning.
Sadly, on the way home on the same day there was a dead kangaroo on the side of the freeway almost opposite where the chicken had died. I suspect that there may be a connection between the two deaths, and foul play may be the culprit. This o-pinion could be me jumping to conclusions, however, for I have been known for my feather-brained thinking on many occasions.
For those of my readers with access to today’s Adelaide Advertiser newspaper, there is an amusing sequence of photos of a ‘crow’ (probably a LIttle Raven) harassing a koala.
I’ve seen this type of thing with other species, including an Australian Magpie. On another occasion I witnessed a honeyeater pulling out tufts of fur from a sleeping koala, obviously to line a nest.
The photos have been posted here, but the link may not work after a few days – I’m not sure how long such items remain on the site.
Last week I picked up my daughter from the Adelaide International Airport. She was returning from a five week holiday in France, Italy and England. On arrival at home she produced a little gift for me. It was a pocket bird guide. It was a Collins Nature Guide called Birds of Britain and Europe by Nicolai, Singer and Wothe.
It is a lovely little book with great photographic illustrations and enough text to help identify the birds. Its small size and light weight makes it ideal to carry in a day pack while out birding – or just going about various activities on holidays even if birding is not the prime focus.
There is only one problem: now I have to go to Europe to see all those wonderful birds.
Driving home from Adelaide a few days ago I was amused at the tactics of a Little Raven on the road. I was using the South Eastern Freeway from Adelaide and heading home towards Murray Bridge.
This section of the freeway has two lanes each way. In the middle of the two lanes there was a road kill – probably a rabbit. As I approached the Little Raven stopped eating the road kill and took several steps into the right hand lane, waiting for the car in front of me and for my car to pass by in the left hand lane. It waited patiently for a few seconds and then strode back to its lunch and continued eating.
A few days ago I observed two Little Ravens strutting around our garden. This is not all that unusual; they are often seen looking for morsels to eat. This behaviour, however, was somewhat different.
This pair – I am assuming that they were indeed a pair – were gathering various types of materials from the garden and driveway. This included pieces of bark, bits of string, the odd twig and other things I couldn’t quite make out. After a few minutes of this they both flew off out of view. I didn’t have the time to follow them to see where they were nest building. I have no proof that they were, indeed, nesting – or just gathering different objects for the fun of it. It is about that time of year that they usually start breeding, so their action was not unexpected.
What amused me about the whole episode was their deliberate walk. They casually yet deliberately strode around as if they owned the place. I guess that our garden is really their place – I am the interloper. Their forebears were in occupancy for millennia before I bought the property.
I didn’t have the time or the camera ready to take a photo at the time, so you will have to be content with a photo taken of two Little Ravens (a pair?) sitting in a tree near our house a few years ago.