Zooillogix

Across the U.K., ravens, once peaceful scavengers, have taken to attacking livestock in huge murderous storms. Scottish and Welsh farmers have recently reported flocks of ravens descending on lambs and literally pecking them to death. Kind of like the movie The Birds! just more sensationalized by the British media…

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Beware! Poor metaphors and juvenile symbolism ahead!

Jimmy Mills, a farmer from the town of Stratherrick claims to have lost seven lambs in the last two weeks. In this article in the Daily Mail, he said “The lambs are born at…

…1pm and by four o’clock they’ve been taken to bits by the ravens.”

English scientists do not have an exact explanation for the sudden change in raven behavior. They are speculating that it may be related to a spike in the British raven population over the last 10 years. The relative scarcity of food could very well have led to the birds taking matters into their own talons. By British law, ravens are a protected species as well, meaning for the time being, the farmers’ have no course of action other than to do their best to protect their lambs.

Trying to stay as impartial as ever, Jane Fryer of the Daily Mail begins her article, “High in the darkening sky, a flock of enormous ravens swoop and swirl – narrow black wings stretched wide, heads protruding forward and huge hairy beaks scything through the air.” Jane, what a dead on description! Get it? Dead on? Anyway, I was just telling Andrew the other day how ravens’ thick, pointed beaks remind me of skinny, curved scythes. And the way they keep their heads totally still while they fly totally evokes the image of a farmer moving back and forth as he chafes wheat. Do I smell a Pulitzer?

Comments

  1. #1 BlueMako
    May 6, 2008

    Hmm, didn’t parrots in New Zealand take to doing something a lot like this?

  2. #2 pough
    May 6, 2008

    According to Wikipedia, the Kea strips rubber from cars and fat from the backs of lambs. Unsurprisingly, lambs have been known to die from that.

  3. #3 Barn Owl
    May 6, 2008

    And the way they keep their heads totally still while they fly totally evokes the image of a farmer moving back and forth as he chafes wheat. Do I smell a Pulitzer?

    Dude, I smell something else entirely. Farmers do not harvest wheat by irritating it or making it impatient.

    And what better collective noun than “unkindness”?? The relatives of raven, rooks and crows, travel in “buildings” and “murders”. Bwahahahaha!!! Quoth the raven, and all that.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    May 6, 2008

    Interesting.

    I think Ravens have been known as serious birds of prey for some time. Perhaps the relevant question here is why have they not been eating baby lambs for the last several decades?

  5. #5 Barn Owl
    May 6, 2008

    Brings new meaning to some of the lines from Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem:

    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!

  6. #6 arby
    May 6, 2008

    I recently heard that the old world vultures have taken to killing animals because of EU requirements that dead animals be disposed of immediately due to the threat of mad cow disease. Perhaps the Ravens are being deprived of carrion. rb

  7. #7 Art
    May 6, 2008

    Time for the tiny, lamb-sized, flak jackets and helmets.

    And whereas it is illegal for humans to harm ravens I think a head-mounted .22 pistol on the sheep, fired by their squeezing a rubber bulb that works a pneumatic slave cylinder connected to the trigger, might just pass legal muster.

    I see vast new profit making potential militarizing the pasture.

  8. #8 Pat
    May 7, 2008

    Hey! What’s with the sudden diss on birds? (Not from Zooillogix folks–just to clarify.) They gotta eat to! Stupid little lambs! (grumble) Just because raven’s aren’t cuddly and “cute” we have no sympathy. Ptoooey I say! (all said, sort of in jest, I’m a huge bird fan–no I’m not huge…..aw, never mind.) ;0

    Pat

  9. #9 Raging Wombat
    May 7, 2008

    If the Brits aren’t okay with equipping lambs with automated firearms, maybe the farmers can mount scarecrows on the backs of all their lambs. That’ll get rid of the crows, and provide fun crafty activities for the farmers’ families.

  10. #10 Peter Mc
    May 12, 2008

    Christ! Don’t anyone tell chickens they’re descended from T-rex imagine what they might do.

    The Daily Mail is a byword for cack journalism.

  11. #11 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    May 12, 2008

    Kind of like the movie The Birds! just more sensationalized by the British media…

    If I remember correctly, ‘The Birds’ was based on a real event when the birds that went mad supposedly did so because they ate a toxic harmful algal bloom (red tide) called pseudonitzschia.

  12. #12 genesgalore
    May 13, 2008

    the unkindness of the congress equals dinner.

  13. #13 skyotter
    May 13, 2008

    “Oh well, carrion regardless.”

    [/Pratchett]

  14. #14 TheBrummell
    May 19, 2008

    Art, I would pay good money to observe a flock of sheep armed as you describe, anywhere in the world, from behind multiple layers of bulletproof glass.

    I smell the next great video-game smash hit!

  15. #15 tim e williams
    December 30, 2009

    The solotion for why ravens attacked the farmers live stock
    is not enough carrin and or this solotion:think of it as a
    buffet or chinise restrunt.1 person watches another person
    try some food then next that person who seen the other person tride it he did to,then more come and do the same thing and soon they find there favorite food until there are alot of people. then the restrunt becomes extreamly bessey,so one raven aquiers a taste of meet after it attacks the animal, then another raven does the same thing
    to a small animal,next there are more ravens comeing for
    the animal. then when the bigger the flocks of ravens the
    more of a chance for them to go after bigger prey/live
    stock, that is why they attack the live stock in wales and
    britain and other countries.next they need to map out a
    way to find out where the most of the attacks are, and all
    places where they have been attacked. then make a map
    then predict where they would go next so that way the farmers can hide there live stock,or be warned ahead of time this solotion is all I came up with so solotion found.

  16. #16 tim edward williams
    July 11, 2010

    Just think what would happen if the ravens where to attack humans and then what.Why dont they try this method by useing sleeping gass or try a big net or try tranquliser dart rifles and guns to capture the ravens and seperate the ravens to prevent this raven attack problem in whales and other places and to hope the ravens dont attack people.Ravens can attack wounded animals why not people but they can harrass a person or steal food from you or attack to get you to leave and never tease the raven in any way and if you bleed and let the raven taste your blood then that can cause the raven/s to try to eat you it might happen and ravens use your fear against you but this ant to scare anyone.Ravens can learn from other ravens and people and change there tactics plus if the ravens sees that you cover your face they will peck at your hands and then attack your eyes and tong I know these things and have understanding of wild life and been attacked by birds before but not touched and ravens can make great pets you can teach them almost anything and you can teach them to do tricks or to teach the raven/s to attack anyone or to poop on someone or to train the raven/s to not poop on the floor and for it to poop outside and the ravens make good theropy and for emotional stress purposes and make it leagal for people to have ravens as pets even wild ravens but still ravens should be free and wild.

  17. #17 saƧ ekimi
    July 12, 2010

    Hi all;
    A fatal flaw was that they failed to have any representative posts ready to go up when the blog went live.

    Had they done so, and had the content been surprisingly acceptable, the reception might have been better.

    Instead we get this “Hi! Welcome to ShillBlog!” (crickets) and everyone, quite reasonably, expects the worst.

  18. #18 evden eve nakliyat
    July 12, 2010

    Hi .. Why dont they try this method by useing sleeping gass or try a big net or try tranquliser dart rifles and guns to capture the ravens and seperate the ravens to prevent this raven attack problem in whales and other places and to hope the ravens dont attack people.Ravens can attack wounded animals why not people but they can harrass a person or steal food from you or attack to get you to leave and never tease the raven in any way and if you bleed and let the raven taste your blood then that can cause the raven/s to try to eat you it might happen and ravens use your fear against you but this ant to scare anyone.Ravens can learn from other ravens and people and change there tactics plus if the ravens sees that you cover your face they will peck at your hands and then attack your eyes and tong I know these things and have understanding of wild life and been attacked by birds before but not touched and ravens can make great pets you can teach them almost anything and you can teach them to do tricks or to teach the raven/s to attack anyone or to poop on someone or to train the raven/s to not poop on the floor and for it to poop outside and the ravens make good theropy and for emotional stress purposes and make it leagal for people to have ravens as pets even wild ravens but still ravens should be free and wild…

  19. #19 Wildbird
    August 28, 2010

    I suppose the eco-wackos will blame this on GLOBAL WARMING and using this GAIA poppycock to explane this

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