||One and a half years old|
||African White Necked Raven|
||Sandpoint, Idaho, USA|
is an African White Necked Raven who was bred and raised by Brian
Blazer of the Corvid Ranch in Alabama. He was five weeks old when I
received him. He is now one and a half years old, fully flighted with a 4+ feet.
wingspan. He has learned some English this year and says many different
words coherently. Oracle is a fantastic friend and an extremely
important member of the household.
While living in NW Canada, I had cared for two injured Common ravens
(Corvus corax) who were permanently injured after falling from their
nests as juveniles. I have always loved the corvid family of birds
since a young age and after caring for the two handicapped ravens for
several years, I was inspired to investigate the exotic corvids that are
legal to possess in the United States. In investigating the African
corvids, I met Brian Blazer and was delighted to purchase Oracle before
he was even hatched from the egg!
Oracle requires a lot of attention, having him in the house is very much
like having a three to four year old child to take care of... except my "child"
will never grow up, doesn't take naps, and is not particularly keen on
toilet training. His mind is extremely active and although he
often gets the run of the house (daily, in fact) I have to keep a close
eye on him as he loves to rip and tear things. This is normal behavior
for any corvid and especially of ravens, as they truly are the "carcass
experts" of the world.
It is a challenge to stay ahead of him as far as games and play time
goes... he is extremely intelligent and bores easily with games that
would likely entertain a human child for hours. I personally would not
recommend a crow or raven as a pet for the average person... these birds
are too intelligent to keep in a parrot cage or other small, boring
environment. They require constant mental stimulation and 'challenges',
and hours of undivided attention daily. However, if one can commit to
these requirements for the life of the bird (40+ years), there is no
better companion to share one's home with. I also have two Borzoi hounds
and two cats in the house. Oracle loves to interact with, and intimidate,
them. To keep harmony in the house, I do not let Oracle loose in the
house without having the dogs outside and the cats safely behind a door
that Oracle cannot open. Oracle has his own large bedroom, and a
special outdoor aviary that my husband and I constructed with him in
Oracle has a very outgoing personality, he loves people and is not at
all shy even of strangers. He loves to go to the vet, and if he had his
way he would probably go every week just to visit and be the 'star of
the show' at the vet clinic. Most people that meet Oracle are
intimidated by his large bill, however he is very gentle and does not
bite. He gives me kisses every day and is very gentle with me. He also
enjoys sitting on my arm or shoulder and rubbing his face in my hair.
Oracle has a few behaviors that could be viewed as tricks. He will
"Fly" on command without leaving my arm. He will literally fly on the
spot, his feet keep him from flying off. Great way for me to cool down
on a hot day, much better than the standard oscillating fan.
He is also very good about catching just about anything tossed in mid
air with his beak. He also enjoys hanging by his bill, I will show him
his favorite towel and he will grab hold with his beak and literally
hang there for a few minutes. He appears to challenge himself to hang
on longer and longer each time. Another behavior that is definitely one
of his favorites, is steal anything remotely interesting and hiding it!
I have recovered an amazing assortment of goodies from his secret
stashes around the house, anything from missing jewelry to car keys, and
all manner of items in between. This is an ongoing game for him, I'm
sure he is constantly thinking about what he's going to thieve next, and
where he might put his "new" stash.
Oracle is extremely affectionate and really thrives on personal
attention. I'm quite positive that in his mind he is a short person.
Even though we have several wild crows, ravens and jays on the property,
he is not particularly interested in them. However, any person is of
great interest to Oracle, he's always looking to enlarge his circle of
human associates, and has developed a routine that tends to draw people
over for a visit. When he is in his aviary outside and spots a likely
'victim' he will whistle and talk to get people (such as the mail
carrier and other service people) to notice him. He will usually start
off wolf-whistling and then move into talking, saying things such as
"wise guy, hahahaha, whatcha doing?" The vocal inflections that he uses
in his speech are really amazing! He sounds very human-like in his
speech and has a very deep voice (some people say he has a diabolical
voice). When he can entice someone in his direction, he will then hang
upside down from his perch and look through the aviary wire upside down.
This usually never fails for getting someone to come right over to see
what he's doing. He's a real ham, a true sweetheart and pure joy to
have in my life.