Nature vs Farming
Fieldwork for me is all about searching for things. But I do not search for this kind of thing which I saw on a field trip earlier this year.
I talked with the farmer, who was willing for me to blog about this story.
A few weeks before he met this raven in a smallish enclosed chicken run, hunting his chickens who normally freely range around the farm.
He still has no idea how the raven got into the run.
The farmer commanded his chickens to leave who astonishingly (for a chicken) complied.
Then it was just him and the raven in cramped quarters surrounded by netting and wire.
The ravens around here are very large, some standing over two feet with a wing-span up to about five feet.
Being used to handling birds, he somehow snatched it and before it could rip him open wrung the raven’s neck.
Now it is gutted and dried, and keeping the other ravens out of his chickens.
He says he was in reaction mode the whole time, not thinking too much.
After, he wondered a lot about what he has done and how he avoided sharp beak and claw.
He knows he has a legal right to kill animals harming his livestock, but worried about what spiritual trouble he might be in.
He sought guidance from some First Nations friends whose culture gives ravens a very important status.
They instructed him about rituals he should undertake to cleanse himself, and all has been well since then.
It doesn’t seem like he would repeat this act, not that he is ever again likely to face this choice.
Another instance that I was glad of the phone camera in my pocket.
I am in the field until mid-September, sometimes off grid but usually will be able to respond to comments and so on.
So, keep the comments coming!
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