Raven attacking me

Hi,

I'm after some advice, I'll start with a little backstory.

During the summer I started noticing a raven visiting the field where I walk my dog, it was magnificent. I'd never seen one before so was in awe. After seeing it a few times I wanted to take a photo to show my partner.

I walked a bit closer to get a good shot but then it flew towards me. I took a few steps back and it landed in front of me and just boldly started walking towards me. I got a little bit freaked out so my dog ran towards it to ward it off me. Well that caused chaos. It took flight and started swooping above our heads and chased me off the field. I had to hide in a bush to catch my breath but when I emerged it was still waiting for me. It followed me all the way home.

I assumed that was the end of it but no, it knows where I live and has even tried to steal my cats food. I can't leave my door open because it sits on top of it and I'm scared it gets in the house.

Since then if I go to the field and it is there it will chase me off, it's a pretty big field so I try to keep to the side it's not at but it still flies over as soon as it spots me.

Tonight it had me in tears because it was waiting at the entrance to the field and when I threw my dogs ball it picked it up and then flew at my face. It is absolutely massive and terrifying. I called my partner to join me and as soon as he turned up it left me alone. 

I need to walk my dog and she loves going to the field but I don't know what to do anymore. Is there some way I can scare it off? I just want it to leave me alone. I'm sure it's enjoying playing with me and it's no longer about territory but some kind of game.

Tl;dr Raven chases me everytime I go to the field with my dog, want advice on how to get it to leave me alone.

  • Hello, how upsetting for you and your poor dog! I see no one has replied to help you yet. I am not a raven expert, but have had experience with Australian magpies and similar behaviour when I lived in Australia. It sounds like this raven is territorial, or has been teased, shot at or something horrible. Are there hunters nearby? Or pheasant breeding going on? Is he playing with you when he gets the ball? They are very intelligent, but if it’s upsetting you, perhaps not. While dealing with territorial/nesting magpies, we used to wear hats to protect our face with large eyes painted on and would use an umbrella. I wouldn’t suggest any sort of aggressive behaviour, like throwing things at them, it is only going to annoy the bird more. People in Australia worked out to feed and make friends of the magpies which stopped aggressive behaviour. I do the same here with crows. Wherever we walk, or where I work, I feed the local crows monkey nuts. I always call to them and they know me. They call out to each other when they see me coming. Maybe you could offer the raven something tasty so he sees you as a friend and not a threat.
    Good luck x

  • Hi Saxamania
    I can't really give you any advice but wondered if you could get some sort f a photo of the bird,I don't know how certain you are it's a Raven but it would be nice to see it.
    A lot of birds can be territorial when it comes to the nesting season protecting eggs and youngsters but not usually this time of the year.
    I wonder if it could be a hand reared bird by someone and has escaped so it's not afraid of humans.
    The only thing I can think of is you take a bit of cloth/tea towel and try frightening it away with it.

    My Flickr photos

  • To add my twopenneth.
    Ravens and Crows have and hold onto recognition of people, I have read they can distinguish difference among several people as you have found with your partner.

    You say this started in the Summer, so as Alan mentioned, maybe someone, or even you unwittingly, has frightened it probably during the breeding season, Maybe the fact you went closer with your Camera,reminded it of someone or your Dog , also the fact that your dog went for it(protecting you) sees you as a threat.

    Have you attempted to walk route without your Dog?
    Maybe try feeding it some cheese tit bits hope fully it will start to lose its distrust.
    A large Hat and umbrella may also give you some protection.

    Will be interested in your journey and a Photo would maybe assist others with more knowledge to advise..

     

  • Like most birds Corvids will recognise a person, a few years ago I started feeding a Magpie out on my patch that had a limp and looked pretty rough, it eventually got better and still met me every morning for a bit of pastry I threw down for it..it has got now that I'm followed around every morning by up to 6 Magpies and 4 Crows all waiting for me to throw food down, but as soon as I'm with someone or anyone stops to chat they all vanish until I'm on my own again.

    My Flickr photos

  • As has already been mentioned, definitely worth posting a photo of the bird in question. Ravens are early breeders and don't nest in fields, so it won't be anything to do with breeding unless it isn't a raven.
  • In which part of the country are you?

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • If this is a Raven the behavior suggests it has had a lot of human contact in the past. Corvids do seem to adopt people like Alan says also there are some royal connection like keepers of the Queens Ravens,could this be one such bird that is lost ?

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Hi,

    Thank you all for the replies, here's a photo I took of him www.flickr.com/.../ and also a video of him 'stalking' me www.instagram.com/.../ this video was taken the day it all started before he took flight and chased me away.

    I'm in a small village near Pontefract in Yorkshire. It's quite rural and my house backs out onto farmers fields where I can see him and his partner wandering around most of the day. The field he usually meets me at is a playing field further into the village.

    My partner has chased him away from the cats in the garden by banging a spoon on a pan and he wasn't even particularly bothered by that, he acted more like it was an inconvenience to him rather than a threat and we've even had him sat on our open door looking in the house.

    When he's in flight he's magnificent and his wingspan is bigger than my dog who's a 35kg German shepherd. He even tried to take on my neighbours Doberman the other day.

    I've thought about feeding him and trying to make friends but then I'm worried he will never leave me alone and chase and attack me for food instead.

    My partner says I just need to be brave and shout and run at him to scare him away but I'm scared it backfires and he takes my eyes out.
  • I've only had one (large) coffee this morning, but Saxamania's photo and video look to me like they're of a crow.

    If I were in your position, Saxamania, I'd be thinking this is a Carrion Crow that's had a lot of human contact (as Pete, above, suggests).

    I, honestly, know that close encounters with big corvids like this can be unsettling, but would---under the circumstances---be cautious about interpreting this bird's behaviour as aggressive. Is it possible that the bird’s doing things that you don’t expect it to do---things that you’re not used to seeing birds do---and that you don’t know what it’s going to do next? And that’s what’s frightening you?

    For example, if a corvid has had ‘too much’ exposure to humans, it’s not impossible that it thinks that, say, to land on your shoulder or to start eating your boots is perfectly acceptable behaviour (maybe that was acceptable to the person(s) that the bird’s been exposed to previously). You, of course, will not be expecting that. I’ve seen that kind of behaviour from both crows and Magpies. Unsettling, but I've never, even once, been hurt by this kind of bird.

    Maybe this bird’s just looking for contact (in a, to it, reasonable way), not actually to hurt or even to scare you?

    Guesswork, of course.

    SunnyKate's suggestion about taking the walk without the dog in order to see what happens seems a good one.

    Best regards -
    Dave
  • Looking at the video I don't think there is any aggression there but could be wrong.
    I wonder if it has been fed by someone and for some reason they have stopped.
    It could be a case elimination to see what's going on.
    1 As Kate and Dave has said try walking without the dog, and if it comes up to you again like in the video (walking) stand your ground and see what happens.
    2 Are you wearing the same colour coat and trousers?
    3 I should try taking some cheap food out for it, I take raw pastry with me in the morning for the Crows and Magpies that follow me around, if you give them big enough pieces they won't eat it all but will fly off and bury it, it may then leave you alone.

    My Flickr photos