Ravenous is a great word, don’t you think? There is something quite primal, urgent and debased about it. Or at least, that was its historical context but, at least outside of the bedroom, it is a word that has now attained some respectability and simply means very hungry. According to Mirriam-Webster, the noun “raven” (black bird) and the verb “raven” (from which the adjective “ravenous” is derived) are unrelated. They are homographs, which is a shame because I have a ravenous raven story. This is your chance, squeamish readers, to skip this story.

I should have realised it was Friday the 13th, when I went for a walk last Friday. The sky was blue but storm clouds were brewing in the distance. The atmosphere was unsettled. Ants scurried and the queens took flight.

I came across a conspiracy of Australian ravens. They flung themselves into the air, wheeling above my head, beaks agape to claim their insect prize.

Later, I thought I heard a butcherbird call but when I approached cautiously, it flew into a stand of trees. So I watched a currawong collecting sticks for a while. Some sixth sense or a commotion drew my attention to the distant trees where the butcherbird had fled. A raven had caught a bird.

I panicked and crept closer. The meal was well and truly dead.

Look at the size of that bird (your choice). Maybe I had consigned the butcherbird to lunch? I’m not sure where this forensic, morbid fascination came from to know more. Lunch could be a young butcherbird or perhaps a wattlebird? I don’t know and the raven didn’t say.

Anyway, I wasn’t the only one interested in the raven’s meal so it ate it very quickly.

So there you go.

The ravening raven cleaned his beak on the branch. Left no trace of his supper.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.

Note about the photos:
The photos have been cropped to within a inch of their lives. I kept my distance so as not to disturb the raven when it was eating.

25 thoughts on “Ravenous

  1. Amazing series Tracy. I once caught a Bald Eagle eating a coot that was in it’s nest. The interesting part is that birds will eat birds. But then man kills man and not for food. I hope things are well for you and your TL.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Anne. I was not expecting to encounter the lunch hour, Anne, and only took the camera out to photograph the mosaic. But it was Friday 13 …. I’ve only ever seen ravens eating carrion off the road so it was a bit of a surprise.
      Those eagles are real hunting machines. I guess they only take what they and their family need?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s quite fascinating getting a glimpse into the dietary habits of birds. These are great photos, especially the one of the Raven glaring at you. You may have kept your distance but he/she knew you were there. We once had an eagle fly into a tree in our yard with its supper. Through the binoculars, we didn’t have a decent camera back then, we watched it devour a duck.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The photos are wonderful Tracy, especially the ones of the ravens in flight. So clear. This is a terrific read. I don’t like to think of ravens and others catching small birds, but that’s nature and there’s no denying it. I’m glad we don’t see them in our garden, but we do have currawongs and they’re a bit ravenous too and I hear the butcher birds sweet song not far away as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was a currawong nearby, Jane. Perhaps the raven stole it from the currawong. They have an equally voracious appetite.
      The flying ravens were a bit too close to me. It was very hard to focus on them so I was so pleased that I got a couple of nice shots. Two butcherbirds lived in our patch over summer but I’ve not seen them of late. They look and sound sweet but ….

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are now closed.