This is a somewhat macabre post. I know, I know. Hard to believe that Emo McGothy over here has a dark side. My point is, if you’re sensitive to things like animal predatory behavior, then maybe you should skip this one. Me? I guess that sometimes I like to start my week on the sick side. There are some nice photos of birds, though, so if you think you can stomach it, it might be worth your while. Still, consider yourself warned.
Of course, I thought this behavior was hilarious, but it also made me really curious as to what had these ravens so uptight about my peanut offerings. One day, I mentioned the odd peanut dance to one of my neighbors and she started laughing. She told me that outdoor cannabis growers set rat traps around their weed patches and bait them with peanuts. Ravens have learned to strike at the traps in order to spring them and steal the peanuts.
See? Smart birds, right? And charming. Yeah, well, stick with me...
I’m not sure who the victims were in this tragedy. It could have been any of the forest sparrows or robins or finches who nest in the redwoods around my house. All I know is, this morning when I woke up, it sounded like Bird Armageddon out there. I walked outside just in time to see one of the ravens swoop right over my head with a baby chick in its beak - legs kicking, desperately cheeping away the last moments of its life. The other raven was still raiding the nest and cawing out in delight. Meanwhile, all of the other species of birds within a quarter-mile of my place were having a collective bird meltdown. Very grim. Especially considering that there’s some perfectly good peanuts on that stump over there.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about how birds and dinosaurs are related, which puts their grisly behavior in perspective. I mean, the similarities are striking - especially so now that scientists have concluded that some dinosaurs had feathers.
When all the while they’re plotting against you with that T-Rex brain of theirs. It makes me wonder what it would have been like when gigantic, winged creatures dominated the skies, flying from tree to tree raiding the nests of other prehistoric creatures. Maybe even prehistoric monkey creatures.
Yet I don’t think nature is cruel. Rather, I think nature is indifferent. For example, most of the time I wander through life completely unaware of the havoc and destruction I visit upon the heads of not only smaller creatures, but perhaps even upon the heads of entire universes to which I am the greater (and completely oblivious) host. Is this havoc intentional? Malicious? No. How can it be malicious if I’m destroying existences I cannot possibly be conscious of? Yet there it is, happening every second of every day. And if I proceed through my days completely indifferent to the tragedies I cause, it’s not that hard for me to imagine that whosoever serves as a host to my own itty, bitty universe proceeds through his or her life completely indifferent to me and my tragedies.