Tuesday, August 03, 2021 —(In 19 days, August’s full “Sturgeon” moon will rise nearest to earth.)

In my neighborhood, this summer’s superb Raven parents raised these pictured kids. For generations, local Ravens have been teaching their babies to drink from my horses’ troughs. These youngsters patiently are waiting until I move away before they drop to drink. Actually, they’re not particularly worried that I’m only several feet from them, also pointing a camera.

Ravens are very intelligent. The infants while learning to drink from my tanks become accustomed to seeing me around. I make sure to appear very non-aggressive, and gradually distances between us shorten. Sometimes the birds even seem to be playing with me.

They’re incredibly noisy. Scientists have captured Raven vocalizations, the sounds and contexts, into something like thirty-three distinct categories. Ravens constantly are announcing that they’re flying, landing, or waiting in a treetop and watching. To untrained human ears, all their sounds are similar loud and raspy mutterings. But each family has unique sounds, communicating an individual’s activities and whereabouts to other members, holding everybody together.

Parents often park babies at my water troughs before taking off to hunt and leaving them. The kids obediently understand and stay put, although parents might not return for quite awhile. Gradually the waiting babies become familiar with my presence. Once they’re reasonably comfortable being fairly near me, I’ll think about pointing a camera at them.

These birds are fun and funny. Some images of them are wonderful.

Dear Friends: Many of these kids often reappear, and eventually as parents themselves. Diana

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