Predation by Ravens? (warning: distressing images & descriptions)

To: John Brannan <>
Subject: Predation by Ravens? (warning: distressing images & descriptions)
From: sandra henderson <>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:34:34 +1000

Just a few days ago I saw  a gang of 8 pied currawongs who had cornered a crimson rosella on the ground in front garden of a neighbouring house. They were taking it in turns to peck at it. At one stage it flew next door, followed by the gang. That's when I went over and persuaded them to leave. The somewhat dazed rosella perched on top of a fence, and after about 5 mins, with the currawongs not hanging around, I left it, and heard no more distressed calls. The attacked bird was a female, a male was flying around calling loudly but couldn't do much else. Last I saw both were higher up in flowering cherry so perhaps there was a happy ending.  And a few months ago I photographed a pied currawong at Jerrabomberra Wetlands, who had a newly killed crested pigeon (actually flew with said victim in its beak, and landed under a bush) and was obviously about to enjoy it for breakfast. So I'd be wondering about the currawongs at your friend's house.

Sandra H
On Saturday, August 30, 2014, John Brannan <> wrote:
Hi all,

A friend has been in touch recently upset at a spate of Crimson Rosella deaths in her back garden (in Weetangera). They found the remains of a total of seven birds in the space of a week, plus another one the other day and a Crested Pigeon today. The only case where they saw a possible culprit was my friend's husband, who, having observed two rosellas happily perched in a tree, returned a few minutes later to find one of the rosellas dead on the ground with an A. Raven pecking at the body. I've attached a photo that shows one of the bodies, with what looks like a puncture wound in the abdomen. It is just possible that something else killed the rosella and a passing raven just happened to arrive at that moment, but that seems to be a bit of a stretch given that it would've all happened in the space of just a couple of minutes. My friend also described another victim that was largely intact other than having its skull emptied. All these events have taken place in the same sheltered corner of their garden.

However, she sent me another photo today (also attached) of a Crested Pigeon that could easily have been taken by a cat or raptor, given that the entire torso has gone.

So my question is, how likely is it that the raven is the culprit, at least in some of the cases? Do ravens routinely attack and kill other birds the size of a rosella? And would a raven eat the entire torso of a victim? My friend is somewhat distressed by all of this and would appreciate any suggestions as to how to prevent further deaths in her garden. It does seem that she's getting rather more than her fair share.


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