“Hey hey hey.. Check it out, Hans! Someone left their tent just a little open.” Martin cackels.
“Dang – nice find! Let’s go in!”
“You don’t just GO IN, Hans. Entry requires a certain know-how. You have to open the zipper contraption just so. And I do believe I’m more qualified to handle that than you are.”
“Oh yeah? How so?”
“Well, for one, my raven IQ is 140 and yours is 123. Besides, your larger stature makes you a good look out.”
Hans on the look out.
Martin ducks under the vestibule and bustles about, dragging something across the ground and kicking out sand. One minute later he emerges, proudly holding one black winter boot as long as he. He reenters, grabs the other boot and brings it out.
“Gosh darn it, Martin!” yells Hans. “I know you have a thing for practical footwear, but what are we going to do with those, genius? Anything else?””
“They were blocking the door. Now that the entry is clear, I will proceed,” Martin huffs as he goes back to the vestibule.
Hans hears some guttural grunting, the zipper opening slowly, and his comrade hopping on the tent floor.
“Anything, anything?” Hans asks, impatiently peeking in.
Martin is standing there on the sleeping bag with underwear on his head. “First the boots and now polka dot underwear? Honestly, what has gotten into you? Anything else?”
“How about this?” Martin turns around, picks up a box of dried hummus powder with his beak, and marches out of the tent, followed by Hans. They tear open the package, taste the yellow powder, and spit it out. Hans gives Martin a disgusted look. “What do you call that?! Rancid flour?”
“Hummus, Martin. Dried hummus. The migrating birds have told me about it. But certainly not what I imagined. Let’s go see if there’s roadkill.”
With the flap of their wings, Hans and Martin head west, leaving the scene to be discovered first by the arctic fox and then Becca and Christine, returning from work.
Or at least, that’s how I picture it going.
Hans, Martin, and their friends are becoming frequent visitors to our campsite. They circle each tent on foot, inspecting them, and managing to enter mine that one time. In addition to being obnoxiously loud and impressively large, ravens are highly intelligent. In fact, they belong to the most intelligent family of birds in the world, the corvids, which also includes jays and crows. Problem solving is their forte. Expert juice thieves, they gulped down some orange juice after punching out the container’s spout.
Ravens got into the orange juice by tearing out the spout.
We have now taken proper precautions to deter further unwanted behavior (don’t leave dried hummus in your tent!).
Raven and fox tracks leading to a securely closed cooler.
Photo credits: Becca Novello and Christine Urbanowicz