I have a baby crow in my utility room

(222 Posts)
SarahStratton Mon 13-Jun-11 23:47:42

Next door's cat got it. It has an injured (not broken) wing. It's going to the vets in the morning.

It needs a name. Ideas please.

AtYourCervix Mon 13-Jun-11 23:48:36


Thingumy Mon 13-Jun-11 23:48:37


UnrequitedSkink Mon 13-Jun-11 23:48:56


UnrequitedSkink Mon 13-Jun-11 23:49:28

Or Sheryl? grin

Tilly? (You know, like u-TILLY-ty room?)

That's bad, isn't it? Well it is late ...

SarahStratton Mon 13-Jun-11 23:50:48

Edgar Allen Crow?

AtYourCervix Mon 13-Jun-11 23:51:29


AtYourCervix Mon 13-Jun-11 23:51:41

or Mortimer

UnrequitedSkink Mon 13-Jun-11 23:52:57

Zackly smile

SarahStratton Mon 13-Jun-11 23:54:37

Oh Mortimer! From the books whose names I can't remember. I rather fancy getting the vet to call out Sheryl Crow though. Or Edgar Allen Crow. It could be a rook. I have no idea what the difference is.

stickylittlefingers Tue 14-Jun-11 00:00:41

Sarah - I think it has something to do with the legs.

How about Odile, or Ciara?

I like Sheryl best tho.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 00:03:37

Ill google tomorrow. Mortimer is too good to pass on, I loved Bernard Cribbins reading those books.

Nevermore grin

keep Tue 14-Jun-11 05:26:22

Hope the little birdy made it through the night.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 14-Jun-11 05:40:16

I would call it Adrian. I am dying to call an animal Adrian.

EssentialFattyAcid Tue 14-Jun-11 06:10:12

We hav rescued a lot of crows, they thrive on homemade sheperds pie with lots of garlic! Ours would fly down out of the sky when called and land on our heads! The only name we ever came up with was Crow though...

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 06:39:08

Update: Mortimer is alive and well, has eaten his dog food, and is off to the vets this morning.

He's rather noisy confused

tooworried Tue 14-Jun-11 06:55:08

As if we don't have enough friggin crows here already! They're bastard birds - eat all the eggs and baby birds. Hate 'em.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 07:32:16

That's nature. That's what crows do, that and eat dead things.

They eat baby birds to feed their own chicks, tis natures way and has been since the beginning of bird-dom. Animals/birds are not inherently evil because of the way they eat/feed, it's just what they do.

Apart from Dolphins. They are truely sinister.

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 08:01:31

glad Mortimer made it through the night.
could you train him to sit on your shoulder like a Parrot?

Still can't remember what that book was.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 08:10:08

Arabel's Raven by Joan Aiken smile

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 08:15:36

of course!

colditz Tue 14-Jun-11 08:19:02

Corvids make nice pets.

KurriKurri Tue 14-Jun-11 10:07:06

Crows are great birds - very intelligent. A rook has a patch of white round its beak, crows are all black.

I'm glad he's safe and is doing well, - I found a baby crow drowned in my garden pond last year sad

cakesandale Tue 14-Jun-11 10:23:02

Aw, I bet he's gorgeous! Keep us posted on how he's getting on. I quite fancy a pet crow. I'd even make the shepherd's pie regularly.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 11:35:53

He's spending the afternoon at the Vets. They are going to give him a bath, clean his battle wounds and give him some antibiotics. Then he is coming back to me to recuperate in his dog crate.

And he's a raven apparently, not a crow. Vet said their tails were different. He's rather nice, sat on my finger and ate some mince grin

KurriKurri Tue 14-Jun-11 11:41:23

Wow a raven - that is special, how lovely to have him as a house guest for a while smile I'm actually quite envy

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 11:51:25

how regal.

Taghain Tue 14-Jun-11 12:04:39

A raven? I'm really impressed. Where in the country do you live?
They are quite tameable too, like the ones in the Tower of London.

Actually, I'm more than impressed, I'm jealous.

cakesandale Tue 14-Jun-11 12:05:39

A raven! Wow! Let me know if you ever need a babysitter (offer only extends to Mortimer)

keep Tue 14-Jun-11 12:08:08

Great news that he is doing well.

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 12:12:14

does he look like this?

KurriKurri Tue 14-Jun-11 12:36:47

I think we need photos if he would care to pose. (I can run you up a Beefeater costume if you like)

allhailtheaubergine Tue 14-Jun-11 12:55:46

Oh BigHairyLeggedSpider - I truly thought I was the only person in the world who finds dolphins sinister and creepy and uuurgghhhh and <shudder>

So nice to know at least one other person can see them for what they really are.

LolaRennt Tue 14-Jun-11 12:58:01

I only clicked on this because I thought it said cow not crow. You shoudl name it Bessie or Daisy

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 19:56:44

Photo of Mortimer is now on my profile. He has a small fracture in his wing and is feeling slightly sorry for himself. Not enough to prevent him eating though. Greedy fecker.

Taghain Tue 14-Jun-11 20:02:59

He or she is handsome but we need a profile picture, too. Lucky woman that you are.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 20:08:42

Of me, Tag? That's me in the hat. Mortimer is the one with the big red bandage wink

Taghain Tue 14-Jun-11 20:15:00

I guessed. Yes, you are rather very good-looking but since I outed myself today I can't really say so.

KurriKurri Tue 14-Jun-11 20:16:20

He/she is beautiful Sarah.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 20:24:03

Outed yourself? hmm How/where/why etc etc?

Thank you Kurri, he's adorable tbh.

LolaRennt Tue 14-Jun-11 20:34:35

Can we rename him Edgar as he is raven?

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 20:36:23

he looks brilliant. can you teach him to talk? is he yours forever or will you be able to release him again?

we had a seagul at one point when i was little. he flew off eventually.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 20:47:29

Vet said she would be surprised if he could fly well enough to live in the wild. That worried me, but she said that they adapt extremely well to living in captivity and he is young enough for it not to be a problem. Apparently, they are quite easy to teach to talk. If they learn by copying he will be fluent by next week. We talk a lot in this house.

I wanted to call him Edgar Allen really badly, but the DDs want to call him Mortimer sad

onclefestere Tue 14-Jun-11 20:49:29

ooh Edgar Allan Crow is a good name...lucky crow finding someone nice to help him grin

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 20:50:30

Mortimer better for a raven. Edgar for a crow.

you must get him to sit on your shoulder and say pieces of 8 or something.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 20:51:28

Hee hee hee look

SummerRain Tue 14-Jun-11 20:58:34

envy I've always wanted a pet raven

So what will you teach him to say first?

Corvids are among the cleverest animals on the planet apparently so you could have your hands full grin

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 21:01:19

Well he will already climb onto my hand and walk up my arm. That's after less than one day. I'm saying his name a lot to him, I'd like him to know his name. He's going to have a big, big cage in the kitchen once he can. At the moment he has to stay in the dog crate as he needs to be restricted so he can't hurt his injured wing.

He will hear lots in the kitchen. Not sure if that will be good or bad confused

Suncottage Tue 14-Jun-11 21:04:36


Give him a MN nickname and a log in so he can type to us. We can find out everything about you.

[sits back and waits for the juicy details]

Nevermore grin

I need more food. Could someone please tell Sarah that I eat anything. Not just boring dog food.

I was at the tower of london on Friday. I saw the Ravens. They are huge

At first glance I thought it was a dog running across the lawn. blush

Its shoulders were massive!

pooka Tue 14-Jun-11 21:27:53

God I waaaant one!

Hope he recovers well. Looks like could be fun.

Suncottage Tue 14-Jun-11 21:28:30

Arrk. I have a profile now. And Sarah wants the computer back sad

AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 21:31:53

Mortimer - learn to use the human words. go on - surprise her.

say Foooooood Mum Foooooood

Arrrk. Arrrk Arrk. Arrk.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 21:33:40


AtYourCervix Tue 14-Jun-11 21:35:12

i think he wants more food sarah grin and some wire.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 21:36:50

He's smart. If I give him wire he will steal my alarm clock and make a bloody bomb.

<lobs dog food at Mortimer>

He's learnt to rattle the cage confused

Suncottage Tue 14-Jun-11 21:42:26

I thought about sending a link about making a bomb. Then I thought against it. smile

I will let someone else do it.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 14-Jun-11 21:48:46

Can I be the first to say that I read the thread title and thought "You have a utility room?!"

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 21:56:12

Please don't Sun. He is already settled in and showing signs of megalomania.

Taghain Tue 14-Jun-11 22:02:49

My jealousy is growing in leaps and bounds. When I was at primary school I loved the stories of the Norse gods who had pet ravens as messengers; they're such mythic and magical beasts. You'll have Mortimer perching on your shoulder soon like a Philip Pullman daemon, croaking wisely while you feed him eggs & dogfood.
If he disappears, I've stolen him.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 22:04:39

<hides Mortimer from Tag>

I hope you live a long way from me confused

Beamur Tue 14-Jun-11 22:08:26

How fab.

CelebratedMonkey Tue 14-Jun-11 22:09:00

Jealous - he sounds far more intelligent than my hamster :D

Taghain Tue 14-Jun-11 22:10:32

They're magic; he'd find his way home again.
I just love the way they tumble about the sky above the Welsh hills in the courting season and the deep "Ark" when calling to each other. And they grow BIG.

Beamur Tue 14-Jun-11 22:11:23

They do, Ravens are huge.

rachaelsara Tue 14-Jun-11 22:11:23

He's rather nice, sat on my finger and ate some mince - the vet or the bird????

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 22:12:42

Good. Wales is a very, very long way from me.

Taghain Tue 14-Jun-11 22:20:47

Yes I know, but thievery's not my style anyway.
Perhaps I could steal a pocket-sized jackdaw instead; they're supposed to be intelligent & tameable too.

SarahStratton Tue 14-Jun-11 22:24:08

He's only a baby, he's a little bit bigger than a pigeon atm. Tag just put the word out that you want one, someone will get one.

cakesandale Wed 15-Jun-11 09:57:05

Sarah: I am so envy

Mortimer: If you get bored with the trough over there, I make a mean shepherd's pie.

onclefestere Wed 15-Jun-11 14:26:00

oh what was the crow called in Noggin the Nog - GRACULUS, that's it grin

TheSmallClanger Wed 15-Jun-11 15:12:51

Odin's ravens were called Hugin and Munin. I think two of the Tower ravens are called that.
There was a slightly bonkers woman in the village I grew up in who had a pet crow. It was brilliant at mimicking voices and noises and always wanted to be near her.

Ravens are tameable, and they do best when given lots of attention, games and tricks to learn. You can even do falconry with them. There is/was someone in Kent who breeds them for this.

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 15-Jun-11 15:27:25

Oooh a Raven - I am very envy. Who was it who had the thread a few weeks ago with a crow in her bedroom - and it died sad.

Hope Mortimer is doing well.

SarahStratton Wed 15-Jun-11 20:07:20

Mortimer is about to have a bath...

I have been shopping today and bought him play stuff for his crate. I don't want him getting bored whilst confined to barracks.

KurriKurri Wed 15-Jun-11 20:39:13

Oh God I'm so jealous! grin I want a raven.

I hope he likes his toys smile

fruitshootsandheaves Wed 15-Jun-11 20:43:45

you should call him Looney

then when he's being naughty he can be 'That Monster Raven Looney'

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 15-Jun-11 22:27:32

Toys. For his crate. All I can offer is a racing pigeon who has taken up residence in my feed room at the stables. She chats to me. She is called Poppy. I would like to bring her home.

SarahStratton Wed 15-Jun-11 22:30:32

Oh that's cute, Exit. Not a bad place to live if you're a pigeon grin

Suncottage Thu 16-Jun-11 11:14:17


Did you see Unsprung last night with the tame raven. He taught himself to do tricks. Watch on the BBC Iplayer.

SarahStratton Thu 16-Jun-11 12:11:09

Oh I will, thanks. Am just uploading a photo of Mortimer with his new toys. He has been for a potter round the garden today.

KurriKurri Thu 16-Jun-11 13:46:48

Oh brilliant toys Sarah - has he played with them yet? I can just imagine him pottering round the garden, I love the way corvids sort of strut along looking at everything. I think they can mimic too, - you might find him answering you back one of these days grin

SarahStratton Thu 16-Jun-11 13:51:41

I posted a link further back to a raven doing his stuff. He loves the mirror and the rope thing. He's worked out that if he bobs up and down it swings grin

He's been 'helping' me in the garden and having great fun.

ExitPursuedByAKitten Thu 16-Jun-11 13:57:13

Oh I just love his red bandage.

I think we will need video updates of him soon.

cakesandale Fri 17-Jun-11 14:22:51

That is one pampered raven. I predict great things from him (and he is looking so cute - and savagely intelligent as well)

SarahStratton Fri 17-Jun-11 15:11:40

He is brilliant . He loves being out in the garden with me, and Potters about after me. He seems to like his toys too, he's worked out that if he bounces on the rope perch it swings.

TheSmallClanger Fri 17-Jun-11 15:15:27

He sounds wonderful. They can learn to talk like parrots, too - lots of videos on Youtube.
Did you know that captive ravens can live for 25+ years?

mistlethrush Fri 17-Jun-11 15:18:39

Very envy although based on the tame raven on BBC last night, you'll have your hands full - sounds significantly more labour intensive than 'normal' falconry. And it looks as though you'll look back on todler-proofing the house with fond memories.

PregolaLola Fri 17-Jun-11 15:26:42

i want him, reckon hed love my cockatiel

thefirstMrsDeVere Fri 17-Jun-11 15:31:41

MNHQ do we have a birdy board?

We have the MN's birds Mortimer and Carrot now.

And of course, poor dear departed Nigel <bows head>


ExitPursuedByAKitten Fri 17-Jun-11 15:34:39

There's Poppy - my racing pigeon who is living in my feed room at the stables.

hellymelly Fri 17-Jun-11 15:42:37

I am so so so envy we had a baby crow for a weekend a month or so back,but although he seemed to be recovering well at the vet's he suddenly died.sad. Did you see the raven "Bran" on springwatch unsprung this week?Should still be on iplayer,he was amazing. Anyway buy this book right now-www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1847080294/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&m=A2SA2BE9AVL3SY it is utterly brilliant and really really helpful if you are at al interested in corvids.She writes so beautifully.It is the story of her relationships with the corvids and other birds that she's taken in over the years.In particular her rook,Chicken.

hellymelly Fri 17-Jun-11 16:39:03

Was also thinking if you contact the guy off springwatch who has Bran he may have lots of help and advice.

hellymelly Fri 17-Jun-11 16:40:07


hellymelly Fri 17-Jun-11 22:07:30

Also should add that if his wing mends then there would be no reason not to re-release him (or her). I am excited about him! I want updates !

Asinine Fri 17-Jun-11 22:11:00

They are very clever.

I had a jackdaw come down our chimney twice in one week. I managed to catch him in a laundry basket and let him go.

SarahStratton Fri 17-Jun-11 22:13:52

He's spent the afternoon learning how to weed the garden. Rather unsuccessfully tbh. He was very enthusiastic but has a tendency to just rip out anything vaguely plantish. He has also decided that he likes standing on the tree stump, he can just about clamber up on it. He then shouts his head off and struts up and down looking very important.

He has also started to follow me about. Which is cute, but doesn't bode very well for releasing him if he is well enough. Although he is showing signs of nerve damage in his other wing, it is drooping significantly sad

Tonight he has had cat food, some hard boiled egg, a few raisins, peas and sweetcorn mixed with a spoonful of cooked brown rice. He likes bouncing up and down on the rope perch and is currently deconstructing a cardboard loo roll thing. He likes deconstruction. He is also very interested in the washing machine and watches it intently. Sort of Raven TV.

FussCat is fascinated. LittleDog is wary.

I watched Bran on Iplayer. WTF have I let myself in for? confused

JonahB Fri 17-Jun-11 22:38:10

I am loving this thread!! Mortimor is one very well fed raven!! Hasn't Fusscat or Littledog tried to pounce on him yet?

SarahStratton Fri 17-Jun-11 22:53:57

I'm keeping them well separated until he is old enough to beat them up defend himself. He has a dog crate in the utility room with lots of parrot toys and things to do. And the washing machine to watch. FussCat and LittleDog are banned from the utility room now. When he goes outside I am with him all the time as he is so vulnerable at the moment. He will have a big aviary to live in when he is bigger and fitter.

I can't believe he has only been with us since Monday evening.

hellymelly Fri 17-Jun-11 23:09:48

Chicken lives in the house,with Esther (the writer of Corvus) and her family.She is about 20 now.She has her own cage type thing but wonders about freely,she isn't confined. I have lots of connections with bird rescue people as we lived on a boat for years and used to have to catch injured geese and swans etc,so if you need any advice on anything I may be able to give you the details of someone to talk to.Just pm me if nec. Although I do think getting in touch with Bran man would probably be the most helpful as he clearly knows his ravens! The crow we had seemed to have some nerve damage,he had fallen backwards out of the nest and landed very heavily from a height,the vet thought possibly he had some problems anyway and had maybe fallen because of them,as he couldn't use his beak properly. Put some more pics on your profile if you can,would be so lovely to see them. He sounds amazing.

SarahStratton Fri 17-Jun-11 23:11:55

That would be great helly. The vets have been good, but they are obviously more small animal/farm type vets and not really au fait with crows!

Bran was amazing. I am definitely going to contact his owner.

hellymelly Fri 17-Jun-11 23:29:05

Bran was completely amazing I agree.If you do read "corvus" there is a section where she goes to look at raven's nests, and lots of interesting stuff about corvid intelligence and behaviour and the differences between different species of corvid.(she has a crow too,and has also had a magpie). It is a wonderful book,even if you are not into birds,her writing is so beautiful-I read it and loved it so much that I bought it for about half a dozen friends and everyone has loved it.
My cousin had a jackdaw when he was a teenager.He was a fantastic bird, he very sadly drowned one day while they were out,because someone had forgotten to empty the bath water,my cousin was totally heartbroken.

EssentialFattyAcid Sat 18-Jun-11 11:47:45

We used to let our crows go outdoors - eventually they left home when they were old enough to look for a mate. It was sad but lovely when they went.

Usually for fair while afterwards we could call them down from the sky which impressed our visitors a lot.

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 18:00:18

My Dad has made him a lovely aviary with a little shed at the end. All his toys are in it, he has a little rubber trug to bathe in and perch on as he likes my gardening one, and lots more perches and things to do. He seems impressed.

He is currently bouncing up and down, hurling abuse at a blackbird. Apparently it has got to close to his precious house. I think he may have Tourettes confused

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 22:41:50

The big thing with crows/ravens etc is that they are highly intelligent but also highly sociable and they need company,preferably others like them but human will do.I would think keeping him in an aviary long term would not be great for him,even if you spend time with him everyday,as if he is alone for any length of time he will be miserable.Although Ravens are possibly slightly less social than rooks and crows, maybe Bran-man will have the best view on this? As I am not a raven expert. I am away tomorrow at my Dad's, but I will root out any numbers I think might be helpful for you. Hope he is thriving.

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 22:43:33

He's doing very well. He is literally only in the aviary at night now. He is spending the vast majority of the day with me, and the DDs when they are at home.

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 22:45:29

Sorry, pressed post by accident, I meant to add thank you for the numbers, all help and information is gratefully received. I'm not entirely convinced he is a raven, he seems too small compared to Bran. But then he is only a fledgling and I don't know how big they are in comparison to the adults.

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 22:55:37

I did wonder when I saw the pic,as he looks quite small.Ravens are huge. a fledgling crow would be jackdaw sized,roughly. Slightly smaller than an adult crow.A fledgling raven would be at least as big as an adult crow I would have thought,but it depends on age obv.Does he have all his new plumage,or does he have any chick-like down still? Ravens have a more pointed tail,although that would be more noticable when flying,and their feathers are more pointed at the tips.They can look as though they have a bit of a ruff around the neck. I don't want to sound like a bossy boots about the aviary,you sound as though you are doing a brilliant job with him,I just wasn't sure how much you know/don't know about how sociable they are,as lots of people don't like crows and don't realise how they have very close family bonds and groups and need that sort of loving contact to thrive.I will see if I can find some good raven vs crow pics to link to! (the other clue might be where you found him,as they inhabit quite different types of landscape).

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 22:57:50

www.flickr.com/photos/l_iam/4669639067/ fledgling crow.The eyes are blus but will darken as it gets older.

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 23:00:34

www.arkive.org/raven/corvus-corax/image-A12625.html flegling raven.Beak is rather larger and the feathers look more spikey and rough.

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 23:04:32

He is probably about 12" long, it's hard to tell as he has virtually no tail left sad

What's left of his tail is still sheathed in the white casings for 2-3", as are the flight feathers on his wings (what he has left of them anyway). He has adult plumage but still has the baby fluff poking through on his neck and back. I think he is about 6 weeks old. He feeds easily from the feed bowl, but if you offer him food he still gapes. He is the size of an adult crow as one landed in the garden today. He is very friendly and follows me about like a little crow dog smile

I found a site called corvidaid.org, it's been very helpful, good advice on feeding and housing, and how to keep them entertained. He has parrot toys and a parrot mirror, which he loves. I also got him different parrot perches with different widths and one that is rough and keeps their claws trimmed <may have overspent in the pet store>

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 23:11:47

Forgot to add that he was on farmland in the East Midlands. Ravens are not common here but there are nesting sites not that far from here.

He does look more like the crow fledgling in those pics though.

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 23:35:00

ravens have a different call too,crows do the "CAW CAW" ravens are lower and rougher.

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 23:37:18

If he is adult crow sized and he still has such immature plumage then he might well be a raven.They frequent wilder and more remote places than crows,woodland with open ground-Crows are more common on farmland but ravens are possible.....time will tell! What is his beak like?

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 23:39:37

He sounds like an old man clearing his throat tbh. Not a Caw Caw at all, more of a gruff Ark Ark. I'm utterly muddled, he is definitely a baby because of the feather sheaths, the down and the gaping behaviour. Yet he is the same size as a crow and his beak is not a crow beak. He has a lot of hair on his beak too.

Maybe he is just a Mortimer confused

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 23:40:34

Beak is blackish with beige on the end. Slightly 'Roman nosed' IYSWIM.

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 23:42:53

I'll just keep stuffing food down him and see how big he gets. Then I can tell grin

I'm not over feeding him, honest. He eats what he likes. Tonight he has had soaked go-cat (recommended by corvidaid), peas, sweetcorn, brown rice and some mince. All mixed up with some baked and ground up egg shell and half the raw egg thrown in for good measure. About a cup full in total and he manages that twice a day.

hellymelly Sat 18-Jun-11 23:50:18

He does sound more like a raven than a crow from all that.Our baby crow was Caw cawing away very very loudly in an unmistakable fashion! here is a raven call soundbible.com/tags-raven-call.html and here is a crow soundbible.com/tags-crow-calls.html . !!

SarahStratton Sat 18-Jun-11 23:53:00

Definitely a raven call. He is much, much lower in tone than the crow call. Nothing like it at all.

hellymelly Sun 19-Jun-11 00:01:49

Am off to bed now, but am very excited about mini raven. They can live to 30 I think,so if you keep him you are in for a lifelong companion,how amazing is that!

SarahStratton Sun 19-Jun-11 00:09:53

It is amazing. I keep pinching myself (not literally) I can't believe I have this wonderful creature in my life. He is so intelligent. It's taken him under a week to learn that this weird human being is trustworthy and worth following round. He's also learnt to garden (after a fashion). Poor garden.

We need to up our loo roll usage. He likes deconstructing loo roll tubes. He enjoyed the Culture section of last week's Sunday paper too. Plenty to rip up.

sharbie Sun 19-Jun-11 00:24:27

how exciting

me and my friend went to lunch - sat outside at a pub and had the company of a raven.

he was perched on a kerb and kept asking for food and looking at us with his head on one side.
at one point he bent down and tapped one side and then the other of his huge beak on the kerb - i have no idea why. does mortimer do this??????

bruffin Sun 19-Jun-11 00:46:15

My DD was looking out the window a few weekends back and saw a baby crown fall out of the scots pine in the garden. It seemed to have hurt its leg. I know the advice is to put it back up on a tree, but our trees are very tall and we were worried about cats. It seemed to have hurt its leg and couldn't stand up.
DH rescued it and put it in the cat basket overnight in the garage. We have a cat so couldn't really bring it in the house. Next morning it seemed a lot better so we took it to the vets. No idea how it is, I am scared to ask.

SarahStratton Sun 19-Jun-11 19:30:48

New photo of Mortimer on my profile. He is sitting on my shoulder - might be easier to judge his size now. He climbed up there himself and was very proud of his achievement. He has a new log to sit on in his aviary, and 2 sprays of blackcurrants, which were a present from my Mum.

colditz Sun 19-Jun-11 23:37:10

Oh Sarah, he's LOVELY. I love him. Please please please video him, I beg you!

keep Mon 20-Jun-11 07:27:52

The new picture is fab. He seems quite a character. I hope he does return to the wild but remains friends and visits you from time to time.

SarahStratton Mon 20-Jun-11 19:12:54

I have spent vast amounts of the afternoon lying on the grass in the garden, being a human perch for Mortimer. Apparently, his favourite thing now is to sit on me and croon in my ear.

This would be very nice if it wasn't for the fact that he was hopping on and off to leap into his bath.

<got a bit wet>

ExitPursuedByAKitten Tue 21-Jun-11 10:43:13

Sounds as if you and Mortimer are loving every minute of it! Does the vet think he will ever fly?

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 10:47:29

He is back at the vets tomorrow to have his splint checked. I'll ask him then, but his other wing is getting more droopy and useless sad

KurriKurri Tue 21-Jun-11 10:48:50

Oh he is big and gorgeous Sarah, he looks bigger than the fledgling crows we get round here.

What a fabulous experience for you and your family - you should keep a record of his daily doings, so you can remember if he is ever well enough to be released.

<< does an 'I'm so jealous, I haven't got a Raven' dance>>

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 10:59:24

I'm considering blogging him. But I've never done it before, I suppose this is very much the same.

KurriKurri Tue 21-Jun-11 11:04:36

yes it is much the same - but remember chat threads disappear after 90 days, so make sure you print it out smile (Or ask MNHQ if it can be moved to another section of the forum after the time limit, like pets or something, so it's not lost)

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 11:15:37

Oh yes sad I'll save it, it's a rather nice memory of his first days with me.

ExitPursuedByAKitten Tue 21-Jun-11 12:45:46

Pinot's kitten thread got into classics. Maybe we should garner some more support for Mortimer.

I too am very jealous, though I am not sure I would have the time to spend with a bird.

cakesandale Tue 21-Jun-11 13:38:52

He is fantastic. I get more jealous by the day.

hiddenhome Tue 21-Jun-11 13:53:59

A friend for life grin

mummylin Tue 21-Jun-11 13:58:22

I misread thread title and thought it said "baby cow " !

UnrequitedSkink Tue 21-Jun-11 16:16:58

I'm loving reading this, I keep checking back to see if there are any more updates. Please keep posting about Mortimer!

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 20:12:34

Oh yes please, that would be amazing if you could get Mortimer into Classics. He would be ImMort al imer then grin

Both DDs are off school with a fluey bug atm. It's been really warm here though, so they have been playing in the garden with Mortimer most of the afternoon. We have got him some old baby toys to play with - stacking rings, shape sorters, that sort of thing, and they have been trying to teach him how to do them.

Not very successfully tbh, but he has had a lovely time hurling the rings round the garden and hopping after them. The shape sorter he sort of got, but hasn't yet twigged that the shapes have to match the holes. He just bangs the shapes and gets frustrated. I will be very, very impressed if he does actually work it out. I can't see him getting the ring thing either, but he is enjoying both which is the main thing.

He has eaten far too many blackcurrants. His poo is purple, his run is very brightly coloured now confused

Wallace Tue 21-Jun-11 20:27:51

oooh i want one! smile

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 20:29:08

He is messy, noisy, smelly and very demanding. Are you sure you still want one?

I bought him a watermelon to try today. We had it for pudding and he has a slice to eat. He's tucking in smile

Oh how wonderful! Not that he is injured of course... hmm

My sister has many parrots and they absolutely love those tiny little playfood boxes you can buy for kids. She puts treats inside for them and they spend 5 seconds ages ripping them open to get to the food. I bet Mortimer would love something like that.

Wallace Tue 21-Jun-11 20:33:21

Is that my dh you are talking about? grin

Would swap him for a baby crow any day wink

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 20:34:48

Oh he would. I gave him one of LittleDog's kongs yesterday, filled with peanut butter. That was a huge success.

This might be a site worth bookmarking for him 24 parrot

especially these chewable toys if he likes destroying things

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 20:46:37

Ah they are perfect. I tried to find toys like that for him today and couldn't. Thank you for that smile

No problem smile I will deny all knowledge however when you find yourself spending ££ there wink I used to have a parrot and its scary how addictive buying toys for them can be!

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 21:09:22

Tell me about it. I managed to spend just under £90 on toys and perches the other day. I'm paranoid he will get bored whilst he is recuperating. I've also had the extended family scouring their houses and gardens for suitable stuff. It was a good idea, he has logs to stand on and play King of the Castle now, and a good supply of blackcurrant sprays. Which turn his poo purple.

hellymelly Tue 21-Jun-11 22:39:45

Sarah here are some details that may (or may not!) be helpful..www.theswansanctuary.org.uk/index.php We have had a lot of dealings with them, the lady who set it all up,Dot,is really lovely and they have all sorts of birds there,although it is mainly swans and waterfowl.She is very very knowledgeable and you could email for advice if you are worried about any health issue . We also have a good friend who has run a bird and wildlife hospital in Newquay,west Wales for several decades.They did lots of pioneering work with oiled sea birds in the 70's. I don't want to put her number on here as she is very elderly now (mid 80's) but she has a huge amount of knowledge about all sorts of birds and if there was something you wanted to know either I could call her or if you pm me I would send you my number and give you all her details. The other wildlife place that has a good reputation is St tiggywinkles hedgehog hospital,again they have experience of all sorts of other animals too
here www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/ .I have met the lovely man who runs it but I don't know him as such,he brought some baby hedgehogs on to a tv thing I was working on.Anyway,again,he is a font of knowledge about all sorts of things you may need to know. I know a reasonable amount about birds but I'm not an expert at all.If however you might want to chat about Morty or there is anything i might be able to help with then please do pm me and i'll send you my 'phone number. (secretly just hoping for a chance to chat about his brilliance!! ) Anyway he does look like a raven in the new pic and he sounds FAB.

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 22:48:21

Oh wow thank you helly smile

You've been a massive, massive help, and a mine of information. He's doing so well, he is off to the vets in the morning for a check up on his wing. I'm going to get him to have a look at his other wing as it's quite droopy now and I think there's some nerve damage. Hopefully, that won't be permanent, although he has had to have a bit of a feather trim since I took the last photo as he was getting a bit shitty. He does have a rubber feed trug to bathe in, it seems to work very well. He sits on the handle and jumps straight in, then climbs out and does it all over again. Apparently this is a fun and amusing thing to do if one is a baby raven.

I've also ordered him some more toys from the site SecretSquirrel linked to. He should be quite ok toywise now. I leave one or 2 in the run and rotate them so he doesn't get bored. I'm also hiding a lot of his food so he has to forage for it.

It's so much fun having him around.

hellymelly Tue 21-Jun-11 23:34:36

O! that so nice of you,I haven't done anything much at all. Sometimes a droopy wing can just be due to a muscle strain- does he flap at all or try to fly with the unstrapped wing? When his other wing is out of the strapping and mended well you can get him stronger by holding his toes with him perched on your hand,and then moving your arm up and down,which will make him flap away.Then you can progress to gently letting go when your arm is up,near a bed or something soft,allowing him to flutter down. He may just get flying on his own,or you may choose to pinion him if you are keeping him as part of the family (it feels disrespectful calling a raven a "pet"!!).
Any joy getting hold of Bran-man? If I think of anyone else who may be helpful I will let you know.

SarahStratton Tue 21-Jun-11 23:38:31

He's had to be pinioned. The wing is dragging on the ground (it has movement but little strength). He kept falling over the feathers so I have trimmed it. The last of his tail feathers fell out today, he now looks rather like a surly black chicken.

He is a temporary member of the family. I don't feel comfortable calling him a pet, he is too dignified and intelligent for that. If he stays it will be an honour. If he leaves I shall just be proud that I had the chance to get to know and help him, and happy that he will be a free raven.

hellymelly Tue 21-Jun-11 23:52:41

I love the thought of a surly black chicken...

LauLauLemon Wed 22-Jun-11 00:09:53

I want a raven.

Sadly, DH says two DD's and a house rabbit are enough for me to cope with. He obviously has no idea who I am or what I'm capable of coping with. Stupid bloody men.

I should leave this thread before my marriage ends up in a paper pile at a divorce solicitor's desk.

mutters Stupid DH. Wanker.

UnrequitedSkink Wed 22-Jun-11 11:08:44

Can I just ask, is he allowed to roam around your house? And is he housetrained, or do you spend a lot of time following him around with kitchen roll?

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 22-Jun-11 12:48:09

SarahStratton I have suggested this thread is moved into classics. Let's see what happens.

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 22-Jun-11 15:18:04

Hi SarahStratton. Not considered classic enough, so Mortimer is now in Pets....

KurriKurri Wed 22-Jun-11 15:58:37

How did he get on at the vet's today?

SarahStratton Wed 22-Jun-11 16:15:20

Hi Kurri, he got on brilliantly. He was so good, he perched on my arm and just stayed still whilst they got most of the splint off. He was better behaved and more relaxed than a lot of the tame birds they get in apparently <proud>

He's only just got home though, he had to stay in and have a light anaesthetic to get the last of it off as it had stuck to his feathers. Well, what's left of his feathers. He now looks less like a surly chicken, and more like a very elderly black umbrella. Very bedraggled and untidy. But he is happy to be home and gleefully jumping in and out of his rubber water trug.

I may have bought him some diced steak from the butchers to celebrate his plaster coming off

KurriKurri Wed 22-Jun-11 16:19:29

grin @ elderly umbrella. How is his wing doing now - any improvement now the splint's off?

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 22-Jun-11 16:27:42

Mmmm - diced steak. Methinks you are spoiling that bird.

hellymelly Wed 22-Jun-11 16:29:03

Are they pleased with how the wing has healed?

SarahStratton Wed 22-Jun-11 16:32:42

Yes they are, it's actually better than the other wing. Weak obviously, but droops less than the other wing. All the other bites/cuts/bruises are healing really well. He had an audience at the vets, 2 other vets came in to see him grin

CelebratedMonkey Thu 23-Jun-11 08:49:52

He's lovely smile

peggotty Fri 24-Jun-11 10:31:47

Can we have an update Sarah? smile

KurriKurri Fri 24-Jun-11 16:15:10

Sarah - you and Mortimer have made the Round Up - brilliant! - he is such a stargrin

happymole Fri 24-Jun-11 16:36:12

How did I miss this thread!

I'm so envy

Would you like to swap for a stinky dog <hopeful>

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 24-Jun-11 20:15:59

The round up spoke to me, made me come to this thread which I have just read from start to finish.

Wow oh wow oh wow oh wow! I am in awe of you and your corvid-wrangling ways, but I am also quite jealous too. I'd like a Raven. Even a jackdaw would do. Tell us more: how is he this Friday; what are his weekend plans?

edam Sat 25-Jun-11 00:08:25

Wow, what an amazing story (and what a lucky bird he is to find such a great foster family).

grin @ 'what are his plans for the weekend'! Sounds like the old barbers' code for getting up to no good at all...

Jux Sat 25-Jun-11 20:42:37

Lucky lad. Is he our official mascot? I hope so.

Incidentally, what is the difference between a raven and a writing desk jackdaw?

hellymelly Sat 25-Jun-11 22:45:52
SarahStratton Sun 26-Jun-11 09:17:04

Mortimer is doing brilliantly. He is much happier now he has his plaster and splint off and is practising flapping and hopping up and down on the spot. He won't be able to fly for ages at the very best, as he has lost most of his flight feathers and has nerve damage. A tail would help too, poor thing.

He is spending the weekend helping us weed the garden. He is very good at 'weeding', if anything slightly over enthusiastic. We have a gravel area at the back of the garden which gets really weedy. I have bought some of those weed blocking sheets and today the DDs and I are going to rake the gravel off and lay the sheets. Should uncover lots of bugs. Which will result in an hysterically happy Mortimer, who is very fond of bughunts.

Last night's dinner was diced chicken, cat food, sweetcorn and some strawberries. Cherry tomatoes were funny, but not a success. He tries to stab them with his beak and is very frustrated because they just 'ping' off and shoot across the floor.

One of my friend's is going to shoot him some bunnies today, I'll chop them up and freeze them.

Oh and my Mum has lent me a dvd. Hitchcock's 'The Birds'. She thought it would be nice for us to sit and watch it with Mortimer. We will not be doing this. It will not be a good plan to Give Him Ideas. He is far too thoughtful and intelligent. I cannot have Raven World Domination on my conscience.

Jux Sun 26-Jun-11 13:34:44

grin brilliant

Jux Sun 26-Jun-11 14:13:48

Thanks for the link HellyMelly. Looks like jackdaws are smaller and smoother.... this thread reminded me of a book of my grandmother's, The jackdaw of Reims.

LongWayRound Sun 26-Jun-11 14:42:13

Thanks for updating with Mortimer's progress! I love the thought of not Giving Him Ideas... you can't be too careful.

edam Sun 26-Jun-11 14:44:10


Ravens are supposed to be extremely clever... he might get those ideas anyway without any help from Hitchcock!

SarahStratton Sun 26-Jun-11 16:15:20

Mortimer has persuaded me that he needs a paddling pool. He is now marching round the garden, occasionally stopping to splash about in an old meat tray the beef came in.

He looks very wet and very happy.

Me, I am melting.

edam Sun 26-Jun-11 16:52:15

Awww - he's really fallen on his feet!

happymole Sun 26-Jun-11 17:03:52

Sod Mortimer

Please adopt me instead Sarah

<jealous of a bird emoticon>

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 26-Jun-11 19:44:22

So Mortimer did indeed have weekend plans! Not sure if the idea of the DVD (providing Ideas), or the the paddling pool, or the personally-shot rabbits bemused me more.

Trouble is I don't believe a WORD of it wink, and therefore demand pictures, especially of a wet Mortimer enjoying his beefy bathe. Please.

SarahStratton Sun 26-Jun-11 21:41:36

Pics of Mortimer on my profile grin

KurriKurri Mon 27-Jun-11 11:49:00

I go away for a day and Mortimer gets up to all sorts. Will you be loaning him out for weeding Sarah - my patio could do with some attention.

grin at 'The Birds' DVD.

Love the idea of him with his own paddling pool. He'd probably enjoy a slide and a swing too grin

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 27-Jun-11 19:39:19

<<stamps feet>>

But I want to see pictures of Mortimer in his paddling pool !

He is very lovely, SarahS. And I am very jealous.

SarahStratton Mon 27-Jun-11 21:31:40

Ahh, I will do my best over the next couple of days then smile

ExitPursuedByAKitten Tue 28-Jun-11 11:14:51

We want new pics, pleeease.

lubeybooby Tue 28-Jun-11 11:30:56

What a brilliant thread, this has cheered me up no end. Should definitely go into classics! Mortimer is fab. Like happymole, I too want to be adopted grin

SarahStratton Thu 30-Jun-11 08:37:21

Sorry, I've not been at home. But don't worry, Mortimer is being beautifully cared for by the DDs. He is being very demanding, apparently. DD1 gave him some strawberries, an egg and some minced lamb for breakfast yesterday. Last night she gave him cat food and he promptly turned his bowl over and stomped off. I think he may be ever so slightly spooky grin

He ate the cat food eventually, after a half hour sulk and a lecture from DD2 about how fortunate he is.

Will take some more photos today. It has been very odd not to have a small, scruffy umbrella bird following me around.

SarahStratton Thu 30-Jun-11 08:39:50

That's spoiled, not spooky. Damn iPhone thinks it's smarter than me. It's not.

ExitPursuedByAKitten Thu 30-Jun-11 19:04:00

Did wonder about the spooky grin

chocolateyclur Sat 02-Jul-11 00:31:31

I want one! Found a bay blackbird once, but that's not the same. envy

Taghain Tue 05-Jul-11 09:45:21

How's the bird, Sarah? Any more news?

SarahStratton Sat 09-Jul-11 23:57:56

Hi Taghain, he's doing well. Wings are getting stronger and stronger and he can 'fly' about 2 feet now. I've cut contact down to a minimum and he now spends the day in the garden, which is safe and enclosed. If I go out he goes back in his run, but apart from that he is free range.

Lack of contact seems to be working, he is much shyer of me and will 'help' in the garden, but at a distance now.

He needs to grow his tail back. All of his tail feathers were pulled out by the dogs. He also needs to regrow his flight feathers as half of these were pulled out and the other half had to be trimmed for the splint.

Once he has moulted and got his new feathers I expect him to fly. I plan to leave his run open for him and to feed him for as long as he wants. But if he can go back to the wild it would be wonderful.

winnybella Sun 10-Jul-11 00:44:42

Don't they need company though? Will he be ok without any/not much interaction til his feathers grow back?

SarahStratton Tue 12-Jul-11 14:41:41

Lots of crows are visiting the garden, and I do go out and sit with him for a couple of hours every day. I just don't want him getting tame enough for it to cause problems if he can go back to the wild.

Actually, the garden seems to have become the local crow drop in centre. He's a raven, but I guess they are understanding each other.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Tue 19-Jul-11 16:56:43

Just wondered how Mortimer is doing Sarah? Are Ravens bigger than crows. I have just come back from a week in Cornwall and there were literally hundreds of crows/rooks/ravens, and some of them were bloody enormous.

Hope he is doing well.

SarahStratton Tue 02-Aug-11 18:36:21

He's doing well. He has lots of new feathers growing in to replace those he lost in his dog fight. Ravens are lots bigger than crows, he's the size of a small cat now, and eats just as much. About a can and a half of cat food a day. confused

He's also rather cross with me because I've been moving stuff around in the garden. He doesn't seem to approve much.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Tue 02-Aug-11 23:11:54

Glad to hear he is still recovering.

SarahStratton Mon 08-Aug-11 23:59:07

Major update: Mortimer is starting to talk!

AncientsOfMuMu Wed 10-Aug-11 20:42:18

"Hello Mortimer, pretty polly" grin

peggotty Wed 10-Aug-11 20:44:37

That's fab!! What is he saying?!?!

peggotty Fri 16-Sep-11 19:26:38

Could we have an update on Mortimer sarahstratton? Have you still got him?

SantasStrapon Wed 07-Dec-11 19:24:02

Quick update: Mortimer is still with me. His tail feathers have grown back, but he is still not flying. I'm hoping this is purely because he needs to moult and grow new flight feathers, as his were trimmed at the vets when his wing was treated.

He is well, and happy, and still causing havoc. He has learnt a few words and likes to shout at my neighbours. Poor neighbour. She goes out in the garden and as soon as she starts speaking she gets this:

"Susan, Susan, SUSAN. Arrrrrrrrrrrrkkkk". Followed by much stomping and muttering under his breath.

He loves DD2 and sits on her lap and croons to her. Occasionally, if she's really honoured, he will try and stuff a fat pellet in her ear. Fortunately, she is equally besotted, and a tolerant little person. Her aim in life is to be a Forensic Detective. She is planning on taking Mortimer to university with her.

I am not so sure about that plan. confused

VivaLeBeaver Wed 07-Dec-11 22:09:49

Sarah, I never knew you had a raven and am totally envy

I want one, he sounds lovely. Does he poo in the house when he's roaming about?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 07-Dec-11 22:11:13

And do you think he'll ever go back to the wild or is he too tame now?

SantasStrapon Wed 07-Dec-11 22:58:52

I'm not sure Viva. He is very tame with us, but only us. If anyone else comes into his garden - and believe me, it is his garden - he becomes very wary and very territorial. I would love for him to be able to fly and become a proper wild raven, but the vet thinks we probably have him for life.

He's not allowed in the house, he is very destructive, and would probably eat LittleDog. He is certainly more than capable of killing him.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 07-Dec-11 23:02:10

Didn't realise they could be so destructive. I've just been watching the nevermore YouTube video, very funny.

SantasStrapon Wed 07-Dec-11 23:06:11

The 'wacka wacka wacka' one? I love that, I've tried teaching him that, but he prefers to shout abuse at our neighbour. blush

VivaLeBeaver Wed 07-Dec-11 23:20:48

That's the one - wacka, wacka, wacka. I'm going to be looking out for injured baby ravens and crows next spring!

SantasStrapon Wed 07-Dec-11 23:40:14


maxybrown Thu 08-Dec-11 22:01:36

ooh do keep posting, have just sat and read the whole thread to Dh, we loved it grin he thinks Mortimer is a fantastic name and is extremly jealous (not that his name is not Mortimer, but that you have a raven and he does not!)

VivaLeBeaver Thu 08-Dec-11 22:09:59
Catsmamma Thu 08-Dec-11 22:14:46

oh i am sooooo envious! i adore crows and ravens.

Mortimer sounds amazing!

MrsChristmasDB Fri 09-Dec-11 17:13:40


I love your story.

I know you had told me you had a Mortimer, but to read this was just lovely.

SantasStrapon Sun 11-Dec-11 20:19:41

Thank you MrsDB. He is a joy to have in the family. DD2 has a tendancy to depression and overthinking things, and Mortimer has been a fantastic help to her. They are so close, and she sits and talks to him, plays with him, and draws a lot of confidence from him.

MrsChristmasDB Sun 11-Dec-11 22:06:50


The relationship between a child and any animal/bird is always so special, I think. 'They' have a way of helping each other, in a way, odd as that may sound.

I am so pleased to hear how much joy he has brought you all.

I'm feeling very soppy tonight. ('scuse)

Stratters Sun 01-Apr-12 15:03:40

I think Mortimer may have a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend, it's impossible to tell. Maybe he will obligingly lay an egg so I can tell.

Anyway, a crow has been hanging around the garden for the last couple of days. Perhaps it fancies Mortimer? hmm

What lovely news.

I listened to a lovely programme on R4 a few weeks ago about Corvids and how they mate for life. Now when I see all our local crows/rooks/ravens coming home to roost of an evening, I notice that they do tend to sit together in pairs.


I trust the suitor is suitable?

He came to you a few days before my 20th birthday (16th june) and the day DD was born (17th june) smile

It'll be his birthday soon then grin

What does he say now?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now