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And instead of hanging around for a few discarded bones or a forgotten carcass to pick and claw at, they've started killing live farm animals - by pecking them to death, in horrific scenes reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's The Birds, turned by Alfred Hitchcock into one of the most chilling movies of all time.
Throughout Britain, traumatised farmers have reported a sudden and disturbing rise in the number of livestock being attacked by ravens.
Farmer John Kirk, 50, from Nethybridge, near Aviemore, has lost more than 40 animals in the past few weeks.
"It's like something out of a horror film. They are horrible, horrible birds. They see the young lambs and just fly down and help themselves," he said.
"Sometimes you find a carcass with the eyes and tongue pecked out, but sometimes all you find is the skin. They peck away until nothing is left." And while some animals have been pecked to death, others have been left to die in agony after birds have feasted on their eyes, tongues and the soft flesh of their underbellies.
Originally posted by seagull
Ravens are scary smart. Opportunistic as all get out. With the demise of larger predator species, both in Britain and elsewhere, animals are adapting to fill the niche left open.
My grandfather once told me that coyotes were, on the whole, much smaller when he first came west, but with the demise of the wolf and cougar, it began to adapt to fill that niche left open. But to do so, it had to get bigger, and because it was better fed, it could do so.
If ravens are indeed adapting to fill a niche, then I'd look for them to get even larger than they already are. This is an opportunity to watch nature at work.
As smart as they are, as a predator they'll be very successful, and downright dangerous to smaller, and maybe not so small, creatures.
Originally posted by Charity
These bird attacks occurred in the Scottish Highlands. It's way more likely to be your common or garden rook that's causing the mayhem.
But why attack lambs ? Nothing complicated. Just a really long, bleak Winter, especially in that part of Scotland. The Cairngorms have had the heaviest snow cover in years & it's only really been in the last two days that the weather here has finally turned for the better.
The rooks were probably just starving. Thanks to the poor weather all their usual sources of food have been in short supply ... insects, small mammals, fruit, eggs of ground nesting birds ... and the poor lambs have been an easy alternative.
Mother Nature. Cruel, cruel, cruel.