Sep 10, 2006

ravenous ravens, a menace to your driving safety

ravens attacking a car in Banff National Park

Long-time reader blogmastergeneral points me to this article about a new wildlife menace, the wiper-destroying raven.
It seems that at least two ravens have spent the hiking season ripping out the rubber windshield wiper blades from their housings on various vehicles, including some at the employee parking lot, at the Goodell Creek Campground and near the visitor center.

Curious raven behavior began in May, however, when a raven continually attacked the center's rear windows....

Employees wrapped butcher paper around the first few feet of all of the windows, but it was torn down by the next day.

Theories included reflection anxiety, trying to attack the two large murals of ravens that were inside (they covered the murals) and wanting to get in because it heard the raven calls that were played inside.

By June, the raven had given up windows and started on windshield wipers.
Think they're isolated to the wilds of Washington? Think again. The birds--or, I should say, The Birds--just like their anarchoterrorist raccoon compatriots, are striking back at humanity all over North America.
Last July, rangers reported that ravens were ripping off windshield wipers (and a few antennas) in a Yosemite National Park parking lot. Those ravens had a bartering gene, however. Sometimes they left dead rodents on top of the vehicles, the one-pair-wipers-for-one-dead-vole system.

CBC radio once reported that a principal from a New Brunswick, Canada, school had removed more than 40 windshield wipers from vehicles in the parking lot. One teaching assistant lost nine wipers, gained a lot of scratches on her car, and had the car's soft top damaged by a raven apparently trying to rip it off.
Yours truly witnessed ravens attacking the fender of his parents' Grand Marquis while at a scenic stopping point in Banff National Park, pictured above. Ravens are smart, aggressive, and potentially deadly. Don't underestimate their wiles.

Update: Someday, someone is going to catalogue all these kinds of incidents. The results will be truly terrifying.


Blogmastergeneral said...

My question, is a vole a fair trade for a wiper blade?

Jim Anderson said...

C'mon, we're talking your safety and your family's safety here.

Two voles.

Mark said...

Somebody should make a movie, just think ravenous attacking flocks of birds.... it'd make a perfect horror flick. ;)

Aaron said...

I'm just saying its a lot easier to get a wiper then it is to catch a vole. Try it sometime. A vole for two wipers seems fair to me. And a vole can provide some valuable food