Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Carp + Raven

The weather has been pretty dreary as of late, with plenty of rain, clouds, and even thunderstorms. I'm hoping that it will clear up soon -- or at the very least, warm up and dry off -- so that picture-taking is a little more appealing. Last week, on a couple of the nicer days, I found two different dead animals: the skeleton of a carp and the remains of a raven.

Thanks to some of the crazier weather we've been having, a lot of bones and other debris have been washing up on the beach near the functioning ore dock.

June Carp III

This carp skeleton was relatively large -- about a foot and a half in length -- and quite complete, too. The first time I photographed it, the sun had just emerged from the clouds and as a result, my photographs were very blown-out. A few days later, I visited the skeleton again, at sunset. By then, the blowing sand had already started to cover up the spine!

Carp skulls are strange looking, and kind of remind me of the skulls of prehistoric fishes. This skull, in particular, even more so, as it was missing much of its sucker-like mouth.

Last week, Steph and I took a drive to the Garlyn Zoo, outside of Naubinway. We saw very few roadkill mammals along the way (and most were so deteriorated that they were unrecognizable), but we did see several roadkill ravens and crows. I photographed one of the ravens.

June Raven I

I couldn't believe how large this raven was. There wasn't much remaining, except its feathers, bones, and feet. The talons of this bird were huge, about the same size as those of the hawk that I photographed earlier this year.

June Raven II

I was surprised at how intact the feathers were. Quite a few were scattered alongside the road: black, glossy, and perfect, despite the traffic roaring by. The feathers' close proximity to the carcass makes me think that this raven wasn't killed so long ago.

The body was picked quite clean, but I wonder, by what animals? I have read that corvids are wary of the dead bodies of other corvids. Would a raven scavenge from the body of another raven, or was it a different species of bird, or perhaps mammals that cleaned the bones so well?

1 comment:

  1. Those feets are so gnarly and the feathers so perfect.