Field Frame Friday: Simply Ravenous

Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are famously smart, adaptable and opportunistic, and while these traits serve them well, they can often get them into trouble, too. What kind of trouble do you think the raven on the left got itself into to earn a bright blue tag and the attention of scientists?

The tagged raven and its partner are living on Santa Cruz Island, one of California’s Channel Islands, where ravens have learned to thrive relatively recently. As these brainy corvids mastered life on the islands, their population size has grown and grown. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been ideal for other birds, such as the islands’ seabirds, whose eggs the omnivorous, ravenous ravens have been documented stealing! To better understand the interactions between ravens and seabirds, scientists are keeping a close eye on the movements and foraging tendencies of a few dozen focal ravens, such as the one in this picture, using vibrant wing tags, leg bands and GPS backpacks.

Have you ever spotted a marked or banded bird (on an island or otherwise)? You can contribute to bird research by letting scientists know about your observation through the National Bird Banding Lab’s online form: x .

[Photo and caption by Ian Ramshorn Haliburton]

Reference:

Report A Marked Raven โ€“ California Institute of Environmental Studies. https://ciesresearch.org/our-focus/report-a-marked-raven/

[Edited by Ian Ramshorn Haliburton]

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