I stand here agog, my own mouth gaping, for I have never seen a raven kill any live animal before. I suppose I could have read about this somewhere, but to witness it first hand is amazing and startling. I look to my desk where my Nikon D80 lies. I carefully pick it up, turn it on, and then stop. How will I focus on the bird through the shutters. I now curse myself for not folding them back earlier as I usually do. I know if I creep closer to the blinds and try to insert my lens through the slats, the bird will see me and flee. I start to focus between the slats from a distance and just as I get the bird in focus, it sees me and flies off.
I’m berating myself for a lost opportunity, when I realize it may have just flown to a nearby rooftop to finish its meal. A quick glance out the front window reveals the raven devouring the mourning dove atop my neighbor’s roof. Quietly I open the front door. I have my camera set on sports mode and I fully extend the zoom before raising the camera to snap off a photo. Click. I get this shot. Can you see the feathers hanging from the beak and drifting down off the corner of the building?
I take a step closer and click again. The raven continues to rip apart the dove.
Finally, I get even closer and it spies me. The black killer grabs what’s left of the mourning dove and flies to a more private location to finish its meal with sunlight glinting off the poor bird’s dead feet.