Baby Ravens at WildCare

Baby Ravens at WildCare

These four baby ravens arrived at WildCare after their nest was cut down by tree trimmers.

Every year WildCare admits hundreds of baby animals, orphaned by non-emergency tree work. Please delay non-emergency tree work until late fall to prevent orphaning babies like these!

These nestling ravens arrived carefully tucked into the rope bag of the tree climber, who felt terrible for destroying the nest. 

Of course, returning these clever corvid kids to their parents would have provided them with the best possible outcome, but the nest tree had been destroyed and a reunite was not possible.

They will grow up in care until they are old enough to be released back to the wild.

Ravens are so intelligent and observant we have be extremely careful to mitigate any factors that could allow them to imprint on humans and become habituated to us while in our care.

The idea of a tame or friendly raven may sound like something magical, like something out of a fairytale, but in wildlife rehabilitation, where the ultimate goal is release back to the wild, this can mean the difference between life and death for the animal.

Staff and volunteers address this in several ways.

In the video below, our Director of Animal Care, Melanie, dons a ghillie suit to feed these voracious youngsters! Most young birds in our care are hand fed using forceps or hemostats — small tong-like instruments like the ones in the photo to the left — but for these pterodactyl-like babies, especially after a couple of weeks in care, we have resorted to using a large spoon to accommodate their big mouths and matching appetites!

What on earth is a ghillie suit? Great question!

This simple but effective camouflage garment prevents young, orphaned animals from habituating to humans and/or imprinting on their human caretakers during their stay at WildCare.

Highly intelligent ravens are especially susceptible to imprinting, so it’s an important precaution.

Fun fact: The term "ghillie suit" may be a reference to the Gille Dubh, an earth spirit clothed in leaves and moss in Scottish mythology!

Our wonderful raven quartet (plus an unrelated, and slightly older fellow foster) will soon be moving to a large aviary with one of our partner organizations, Lindsay Wildlife, where they can practice… well, being ravens!

We wish them luck!

Video and story by Dion Campbell