Quoth the Raven

Thoughts on Fantasy

This morning, I came across a blog about crows and ravens in fantasy, written by Nicola on her Thoughts on Fantasy blog. It an interesting text that informs you of the black birds’ characteristics, their appearance in symbolism and mythology, as well as their occurrence in fables, poems, and literature. She also talks about the roles ravens have in fantasy stories. Check it out at Crows and Ravens in Fantasy.

My Experience with Corvids

When I lived in Australia with friends of my mother, an elderly couple, the man used to go outside with a tray of raw minced meat every afternoon. One day, I asked him what he was doing with it. He told me to join him. We sat on a bench in his front garden, and two Australian magpies came up to him. He fed them the minced meat. He told me that every day, the birds would come and wait for him to feed them the minced meat. You can imagine how perplexed I was, about the fact the birds ate minced meat, the fact that they knew what time the man would come out every day, and, of course, the fact that the man fed them the meat.

In the hamlet where I currently reside, live a clamor of rooks. I could’ve said a parliament of rooks, or a building of rooks, the other collective nouns for the noisy, black birds (see this webpage for more collective nouns for birds), but they really do make a clamor. They live on the other side of the hamlet and I hope they stay there. I rather prefer hearing the soft chirping of the smaller passerine birds over the noisy rooks.

The sound of corvids I like best is that of the Australian magpie. They’re bigger than the European magpie and have a very typical song. Waking up in the Australian bush and hearing this (incredibly intelligent) bird warble is magical!

Header photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

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