Sunday, 16 August 2015
Ravens of Victoria: the Bored and the Beautiful
Life in Victoria, B.C., proceeds at a slow pace, even for the ravens. Some of them cope with their boredom by tormenting the humans who pass them by. This year, for a few months, there was one raven who perched in the rafters of the Market Square (a public quadrangle, downtown). He/she passed the time by swooping down to pass his/her claws through the hair of people walking up a particular (outdoor) staircase.
The bird behaved as if it were snatching hats from the heads of these pedestrians, who responded with various degrees of alarm and confusion. Shop-owners put up a warning sign, struggling to describe what the danger really was: "Beware! Ravens dive-bombing!" If I hadn't seen the bird doing this myself, I would have no idea what they meant by "dive-bombing". The bird was thoroughly delighted with the way people would cower, etc., after it snatched at them this way, and would "laugh" (cawing) in the rafters, after each victim. Eventually, I suppose, some civil servants captured the bird, and the sign was taken down (I don't know if they killed him/her, or if the bird was merely relocated).