Wild Raven Visit 7-15-16

Suk   had visitors  yesterday (and they are back today – 3 today).  A  pair of  Ravens.  Magnificent  voices,  incredible aerobatics and elegant flight. Heartbreaking….

Yes I said  heartbreaking.

But really  it was mixed emotions. Thrilling to see  and hear these  beautiful,  intelligent  animals  up close in their  wild home.  Awe at their vocal and acrobatic  abilities,  amazement at the  sheer size of one of them, easily  a 5-6 foot wingspan and  the deepest voice  I’ve ever heard from a Raven.  Joy at seeing them  play and display to each other in the trees around the property.  But then….

Extreme sadness  that Suk  had no reaction or  even recognition of them except fear when they were  too close for comfort,  flybys of his aviary.  For the most part  he was  oblivious  that they were telling him this is their territory and perhaps trying to get him to leave or at least give them  chase.

If  I ever had  any doubt about him being  imprinted that was erased yesterday. He was not  understanding that these  visitors were his relatives at all.  It’s  so sad to me the cruel things that people do, to take a wild  animal and  completely  destroy it mentally and relegate it to  a life of captivity or to euthanizing.  I was  in tears  watching Suk  just happily play with  an enrichment box, while the wild  ravens  were zooming around , quorking, clicking, snapping and singing,  riding the  air currents,  flying free from tree to tree, flips and spins in the air.  My tears  were  for him,  knowing that while he is perfectly  capable  of flight and healthy and beautiful in every physical way, he  doesn’t, and probably will never  know  what that frolicking  free through unlimited airspace  is like,  all because some  $%&^ing person screwed with his head at a critical point in his early life.

It was  also  exhilarating seeing the wild birds frolic and  call. I have a true, unabashed affinity that never ceases to make me grin ear to ear seeing them in the wild. They are doing what  wild Ravens do…. And knowing how  intelligent they are  and how  empathetic they can be I am hopeful that they realize that Suk is not quite like them, poses no threat and  they will just visit and be kind.  It is a real possibility that  will be the case and most likely they will just visit occasionally (or even often, time will tell)   but  they will not harm him.  I’ve always  wonder how he would  respond to other  ravens and while I suspected this  particular ambivalence , it  is still  sad for me to see. A  part of me hoped that there was a chance that he was only partially imprinted and that  he would recognize  his species and interact in some positive way that may eventually have led to  his release (though  legally that is not an option with him, perhaps an  exception could have been made with  solid, empirical  evidence…).

I am doing  everything I can  to make sure that  the life Suk has  is a full one,  filled with  enrichment, love and  helping to educate people not only on Ravens and other Corvids and  wildlife in general, but also to the  ramifications and the true tragedy of what happens when  you  take an animal, specifically young,   imprintable wildlife,  out of the wild.

Suk  is doing fine,  I am  the one who had some hard time with this  event,  and it  really is mixed emotions. The ravens that are visiting are absolutely  incredible, beautiful and fun to watch and experience.  You really do not get many opportunities   to see elusive birds like the Raven  in most urban or semi-urban  environments.  Here are a few photos and  a video of them and Suk’s  lack of response.  The Ravens are getting bolder today though and  Suk  is getting a little stressed,   one actually  was  on a tree  right next to the aviary and  also on the  aviary roof.  I believe Suk felt  that  as stress/pressure/attack from a strange creature  that makes similar sounds as he does so he was a bit agitated with the encounter. We’ve spent a lot of the day out with him  or around  that area to try to have the ravens keep their distance as really they are probably  just curious about the  raven in a  box…  and either  protecting their territory or  wanting to “help” him escape his prison (prison  in their mind, in Suk it’s his palace and his   territory).

Some may think that   Suk should be released  to be with those ravens…  let me try to explain, he is imprinted on humans, he doesn’t  know he is a  Raven,  he is  incredibly intelligent, but  intelliegnce and  identity are  separate parts of  a being. They are not mutually exclusive just not related to each other.   Plus  if he were to be released,  he’s  in their territory,   he could  suffer  either by direct attack,  or be chased out of their territory  which could be miles and miles away from the home he knows now as his. He doesn’t know how to communicate with them, or how to find food on his own without depending on humans.  He would suffer terribly and if he wasn’t killed  he would starve or be killed by people for   trying to get food from them… or end up back in “the system”  of  rehab and  probably euthanasia. Some people may even say he’d be  better off  that way (euthanized)  but honestly he  does have a  good life for his condition and we have already seen him make  a real positive impact on people  as a teacher,  teaching about  the cause and effect of  imprinting, teaching about  ravens, environmental conservation, etc.. etc…a long list  of the  differences he is making in the world  and it spreads!  He’s already touched the hearts of  many children  and adults alike who I truly believe  are  learning and changing their  lives  to make more of an effort to protect wildlife and  know what to do with young birds,  and so much more…. ( anyone who has  met Suk and  gotten a presentation or mini-presentation or just a chat, please  comment  your thoughts on if you’ve learned from him he’d  love to get feedback!) I would much prefer to see Suk and all of his kind in the wild,  Of course  I  do love caring for him and  teaching with him and having him teach me, but being free in the wild will never be in the cards for him so we are making the absolute best we can  for  the situation he is in.

I will continue to document  and record  Suk’s  visitors as well as  all of his  activities ( I keep a running journal/log of every detail I can think of) in order to   continue to make a positive difference in his world as well as the  world around us. We will use this  as another lesson  to help  people understand  and change, learn and grow and appreciate wildlife.

I’m not posting this on Suk’s  facebook page, I do plan to post the video and a brief descripton of the events but not this, this is my personal blog and  not the offical Suk the Teaching Raven’s  opionions… there will be alink to this  in the  video comments though – if you’re here from that link, please know this is not the official  USFWS or WDFW positions on anything….  just my personal observations/feelings.

Enjoy these pictures and video and as always  my dear friends: Stay Safe, Be Kind, Keep the Park Clean, Pay it forward, Make a Difference and One Love  –  http://wp.me/p2RcFA-3Z

The video is a little long, but if you’re a  Suk  follower or a  Raven lover you won’t mind…


9 9a 9b 9c 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

and: QUORK ON!!!


Mikey’s  Ramblings HOME

6 thoughts on “Wild Raven Visit 7-15-16

  1. I have ravens that come to my yard and I love watching and listening to them!!! I understand some of what you mean about being sad that Suk isn’t out there doing Wild Raven Things…..I feel the same way about the educational owls that we have at Nature World. An Eastern Screech Owl and Barred Owl are there because they were imprinted and cant be released. We tried to release the Barred Owl when he was grown but he kept showing up on peoples porches, looking for a handout…and was very friendly to people, so Mary got permission to bring him back and keep him as an educational bird. He is the sweetest thing…I just love working with him. Suk doesn’t feel sorry for himself…I am sure….like you said, he is in a palace…with lots of love and attention and he is still serving his species by teaching us .

  2. I think Ruth hit it right on the head. If he were to be released it could be like the owl they tried to release. It IS sad in one sense when they’re free and Suk isn’t, but he doesn’t know that way of life. He’s a great bird with a great teacher.

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