Not a birder, but my a mom was so I pay more attention to them than I would have otherwise.
I have a pair of ravens that seem to center on my property. Sometimes there are more, like today (pinyon nuts no doubt). They fly around me when I am outside and watch everything I do. Sometimes they fly in when I come home from my job in the market economy.
They are intelligent and curious. The day I brought my puppy home (he is black) they circled around a bit then one of them dropped in the yard close to my dog. The dog sat down and would not make eye contact. The Raven checked him out (he was bigger than the dog) and after a few minutes it flew off. The dog looked like the Raven from the back and I named him Raven Black. Didn’t stick… he is now Little Guy.
I saw my pair mobbing a Hawk today right over me head. They were making quite a ruckus and another pair came over to join in. The hawk was hanging in there running ahead but never turning to attack. Ravens are big. I mean they have a 3-5 foot wingspan.
I enjoyed the aerial acrobatics and admired the hawk which looked like a red tailed hawk although I am no expert. At one point I saw his underside lit up by the afternoon sun and that’s my guess.
The ravens drove him off, of course. This isn’t nesting season so they weren’t defending their babies so I looked it up and discovered that ravens teach their young to mob game birds. Amazing.
Ravens and Hawks have similar roles in my circular economy. They clean up carrion, eat mice and small animals. Ravens are omnivores rather than carnivores and eat nuts, berries, and seeds, too. They mob hawks! That protects my songbirds. Sometimes winter’s a red tailed hawk sits in the juniper outside my living room window. I have never seen him pounce on a bird in there, but I did see him dive out and fly after a bird coming in for juniper berries. It was so fast I almost missed it.
I love living in the country.
Got to thinking about other mobs. I had an Australian Dingo (rescued) in Dallas. She was a good hunter and killed plenty of squirrels. Ate them too, alrhough most of the time she brought me the tail. Share and share alike. I saw a dozen squirrels mob Mattie one time. They were screeching and throwing pecans and pooping on her. I missed what set them off but they were after her. Too bad because she couldn’t move on and she couldn’t catch them either. She retreated to the porch. Mobs are scary even when they are squirrels! She would sit in the breakfast room and look into the back yard. Those crazy squirrels would get close and peer in the windows, just cursing her. Long run, I am clear Mattie was going to take them out. We moved to acreage in the country.
Made me think about human mobs designed to destroy threats to the community. Mobs are a bit skewed now and go after weird targets instead of true predators.