Little Raven with mammal prey

Subject: Little Raven with mammal prey
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2011 20:54:09 +1100
A Little Raven was digging persistently beside the Main Yarra Trail at Banyule Flats Reserve, close to the Yarra. It was often disturbed by cyclists and walkers but kept coming back. Its head disappeared at times into the excavation and I saw it fly off with something in its beak - probably to a nest on the far bank. It returned and resumed digging. I was intrigued, and having passed the scene, came back slowly after five minutes or so with camera at the ready. I was able to approach gradually and get photos as the Raven raised its head holding its prey. Not a great photo at all, but it does show that the bird was not digging out curl-grubs but larger prey - a very young almost bald mammal. I believe it is a Rabbit kitten. It is longer than the raven's beak (I wish I could find figures for beak-length!) and has two pairs of legs (front and back), and no visible tail.

Rabbits are very numerous in the area (I saw about a dozen that morning, one quite close to my observation). Female Rabbits are said to leave their new-born young in very shallow burrows away some way fro a main warren. They feed their litter only about once a day.

I am wondering how the Raven found the Rabbit's nest - observing disturbed soil, or by sound or even smell.

  I can't attach the photo but if anyone is interested I will send it.

Anthea Fleming


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Little Raven with mammal prey, brian fleming <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU