Lorraine Doiron

Knowledge saves Mortimer the crow

Mortimer the raven is actually a crow, likely saving his life.

Still on my walk towards Hope. I figure I will reach that place perhaps by the end of this year as I am heading to Prince George to be with family and I am sure there will be a ton of walking going on with all the children, grandkids and even a great-grandson.

In the meantime good news to share just in time for Christmas. Remember the raven I told you about in the last column, where the lady might have been forced to give him up to be euthanized? Mortimer the raven is actually a crow. This has been a case of mistaken identity and Mortimer the crow will be free to live with the lady in his new home. She is very happy that he gets to stay with her and that she does not have that fear of him being euthanized. The conservation office that came to her home made a mistake in identifying Mortimer as a raven based on his beak. It appears under Saskatchewan’s Captive Wildlife Regulations she would have had to surrender the bird to be euthanized or face a $2,000 fine. After consulting with a professional the raven was identified as an actual crow by Kaeli Swift, a PhD candidate who studies crows and corvids at the University of Washington in Seattle. Apparently she plays a game on Twitter each called #CrowOrNo where people post pictures of what they think to be crows, ravens or other members of the corvid family. The aim is to familiarize people with the bird and highlight what the difference is between them, as well as educating people about the species.

According to Wikipedia, corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of oscine passerine birds that contains crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs and nutcrackers, all known as the crow family or, more technically, corvids. Ravens are about two-and-a-half times the size of a crow. Another thing is that ravens have special feathers called hackles on their throats. Crows have more traditional boy feathers on their throats, fine and smooth. It appears Mortimer is a young bird, his mouth lining is pink and once he reaches sexual maturity that lining will turn black. More help from Jan Shadick with Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation also assessed Mortimer and found that his broken elbow could be operated on. Mortimer will never fly again but he will be free from pain. So hurrah for Mortimer, he has a loving family just in time for Christmas.

Just a reminder that the Library will be closed December 25 and 26 for the Holidays.

I am sending wishes to all of you to have the best Holiday, hoping you can enjoy it with family and friends. I have always felt that you are born into a family while friends are family that you choose.

Closing with: knowledge, the understanding of a science, art or technique. Truth gained through reasoning. Something more important than looks or money.

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