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Bird playing ball in mid air

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Old Wednesday 16th October 2019, 02:34   #1
ReneeRipp1
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Bird playing ball in mid air

I saw something unbelievable the other day and Im wondering if this happens or if it is super rare. I saw two Ravens in flight, one had a large seed in his beak, like the size of a ping pong ball. He threw the seed up in the air while he was flying and then caught it mid air! Then, he let it go and swooped down to catch it. It was like he was showing off for the other birds, it looked like he was doing it purely for entertainment. It was quite amazing!
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Old Wednesday 16th October 2019, 08:28   #2
Hauksen
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Hi Renee,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneeRipp1 View Post
I saw something unbelievable the other day and Im wondering if this happens or if it is super rare. I saw two Ravens in flight, one had a large seed in his beak, like the size of a ping pong ball. He threw the seed up in the air while he was flying and then caught it mid air! Then, he let it go and swooped down to catch it. It was like he was showing off for the other birds, it looked like he was doing it purely for entertainment. It was quite amazing!
Fascinating observation, thanks a lot for sharing! :-)

It's my impression that corvids are known to be playful, but I've never seen them do something just like that.

Throwing and catching something while in flight is part of the courtship ritual of some species of raptors, for example of Marsh Harriers, though in that case it's about the male passing prey to the female.

I've seen Ravens fly complete rolls (around the longitudinal axis, like aerobatic aircraft) while diving, and in Konrad Lorenz' classic "Der Vogelflug", he describes that his hand-raised Ravens occasionally enjoyed diving with wings fully extended, just for fun, instead of folding them halfway like birds normally do.

Handling an object in flight sounds like an extension of the playful nature of Ravens, but I suppose one has to be very lucky to be in the right place at the right time to actually observe it! :-)

Regards,

Henning
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Old Wednesday 16th October 2019, 09:50   #3
Ries
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Cool observation! I saw a clip on yt where a crow slides on a leave off a snowy roof, picked it up, flew back to the rooftop and went off again, having lots of fun!

Like your ravens, this summer I saw a Caspian tern play with its caught fish in the same manner; multiple times dropping it and catching it midair, great to see!
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Old Friday 18th October 2019, 10:56   #4
King Edward
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I've seen a Carrion Crow dropping a small stone (or similar object) and diving to catch it again in mid-air. It did this at least twice in a row.
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