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Our Feathered Friends - July 20

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When I was a small child, I remembered some adult telling me the best way to catch a bird was to sprinkle salt on their tail. You wouldn’t be able to count on your fingers and toes the times that I tried to get close enough to do that.

Another sure fire method of bird catching was to take a small box, sprinkle some bread on the ground, prop it up with a stick that has a kite string attached to it. You kind of need to get out of sight and wait till one of the birds follow the trail of light bread and goes under the box. Snatch the string and then go collect your prize.

To me that one was just like going fishing with my old friend, Wayne (Barny) Barnes. When we would go fishing, sometimes just being out on a creek bank was enough and we didn’t really care whether the fish were biting or not. That was the same way it was back in my bird catching days. It wasn’t the catching, but the fun of trying.

I heard from Carole Young this weekend telling me that she really enjoyed my article in last week’s The Wilson Post. The story from the Holy Bible was inspiring to her, but she wanted to know more about the Raven. There are many questions in my mind such as where did the Ravens get the bread and the meat? God could have created it, just as easy as Jesus did with the fishes and loaves, but in my mind’s eye, the birds probably were a little sneaky and took someone’s lunch.

It didn’t really say if the meat was cooked, but I just can’t see someone eating their meat raw, especially before the invention of refrigerators. There are many great stories in the Holy Bible, and to me if they are there, I believe it all to be the truth. A Raven was also sent out by Noah to see if the waters had abated.

Back to Carole’s question about the Raven. The Raven, “Nevermore,” just kidding with a little kick back to Edgar A. Poe. The Common Raven, (Corvus corax), looks like a Common Crow on steroids, complete with a Roman nose. I personally have watched them soar above The Great Smoky Mountains, back in the 70s during a hike from Clingmans Dome all the way back to Newfound Gap. Talk about sore feet, I really had them.

Once common on the Great Plains, Ravens declined with the disappearance of the buffalo, on whose carcasses they fed. Many perished from eating poisoned bait placed out for wolves and coyotes. Now Ravens thrive in the mountains, deserts and forests feeding on a menu of insects, reptiles, and small animals.

Ravens are reputed to mate for life and return each year to the same cliff to mate and rear their young on a sheltered ledge over a sheer drop. Some nest in trees. Ravens build their bulky nest and depending on location line the nest with fur, seaweed or any soft material where the four to seven eggs, green with olive or brown dots, hatch in three weeks. Its vocals consist of a low hoarse croak.

I would love to hear from you as to what’s lurking about in your neighborhood or at your feeders. You can write me at 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, 37087 or call me at 547-7371, or e-mail me at ourfeatheredfriends@yahoo.com

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