Thursday, 3 May 2012

BESTIARY ~ Ravens and other Corvids

Some people only associate Ravens with winter and midnight (thanks to that pesky Raven of Edgar Allen Poe's!) but I have always found corvids so magical that I like them to be a part of my life year round. Ravens are not just for Halloween!

We used to live near Exmoor and would often hear and see the Ravens there on the cliffs. I miss them and was charmed recently by their relatives the Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws gathering sticks for their nests. Once upon a time Jackdaws were so determined to make a nest in our cottage chimney they completely blocked it up with a giant pile of sticks! Fortunately Mrs Black heard them cheaping and we knew we could not light a fire. Many fires in old cottages have been caused by a fire in the chimney when it was blocked by a bird's nest, especially thatched cottages.

One of our Jackdaws inspecting a chimney
Corvids are determined and ambitious and will try to pick up and carry sticks far bigger than possible for their size. We have often seen a Jackdaw flying with a huge stick. We helped them by breaking up old tree sticks and laying them out in our back garden where they could swoop down and take them, which they did.

The pile of sticks we made for the Jackdaws

 For several weeks we had noises in the day and night as the babies grew and fledged. Jackdaws are not always popular and in our small village the arrival of several more was not met with much joy. Nevertheless it was one of our nature adventures. We had all the corvids close enough for a day visit in those days, even Choughs.

Once the Jackdaw brood had fledged we had to clean out the chimney and have a cap fitted to prevent them blocking it again. The amount of sticks which we found when we opened it up was unbelievable!

Our chimney and the Jackdaw nest!

There is an ancient manor house near us called Rooks Nest and of course the Rooks do nest in all the surrounding trees.  How enchanting it would be to live here!

Rooks Nest in Wiltshire

I love this painting on canvas. It is on Etsy. The link is below.

"Raven Ride At Dusk" by Michael Broad

Michael Broad Etsy Shop:


  1. I love the ravens that live in the large cedars around our ponds. They are nesting right now, and as they swoop low over the ponds I can hear the whoosh, whoosh of their wings. The ravens are very intelligent, and will 'talk' to us when they are in the mood to engage.

  2. Found your blog via blog hopping and love it, so hello from a new follower.

  3. Hi there!
    I'm so pleased to have found your delightful blog, through blog hopping as well.
    It's great to find a fellow admirer of corvids.
    Since my childhood, crows have been my favourite bird, something about their character, and beauty resonates with me.
    thanks for sharing your story of the jackdaws in your chimney.
    I know I'll enjoy visiting here! I follow one or two other blogs from the United Kingdom, and enjoy reading. I live on the prairies in Canada, so like the contrast.


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