Emi Fujimoto Autumn Ravens

Emi Fujimoto  is a young Japanese photographer and artist with an “innocent” macabre style. Ravens, moons, puppets and cats sparkle across her gallery, set against the dim and beautiful world only her lens can create.






Twilight- fujimoto emi

View more of Emi’s work here , on Flickr or follow her on Google+:

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Read the latest car news and check out newest photos, articles, and more from the Car and Driver Blog.

Jutta Maue Kay – Crows on a Cloud

©Jutta Maue Kay

Jutta Maue Kay is a German native with a passion for human rights and conservation. She has been all over the world, and currently resides in Vancouver, where her newest subjects are in vast abundance.

The images she captures of the Ravens and Carrion Crows of the Pacific Northwest are truly special. Each one is infused with the trickster spirit, dark elegance, or intelligent curiosity these birds possess.

©Jutta Maue Kay

©Jutta Maue Kay

©Jutta Maue Kay

To see more incredible photos from Jutta, head over to her Crows Set on Flickr

Ravens, Tom Ford Eyewear And Brand Myth

As Tim Girvin, brander extraordinaire, says it best, “Ravens as the dark storyteller, the mythic black rainbow.”

Is the etymology of corvid derived from the ancient Proto-Indo European seed sound kos, for shout? That would seem appropriate – ravens for shouting. Marketing as the shout, raven-style. But it’s the sound of the kraaak and croak that reaches to the heart of the word and the story – and running the linguistic gauntlet for several thousand years, the sounds of the black one, the ravening clan, that first bespeak the legend.

To Tom Ford, and the raven as a stylistic emblem, the commentaries are interesting to Tom’s shooting of eyewear/ware that is inter-played with corvids. Noting sensuality, Anne of Caverville’s reflections offer Tom Ford’s use of ravens in his Fall 2010 ad campaign for Tom Ford Eyewear with Freja Beha Erichsen and Nicholas Hoult can be interpreted as his belief in a female-centric, new consciousness. Ford is the ace of sensual branding or hot, sexy, sizzling marketing  whichever you prefer. The sexy marketing maestro has always pushed the envelope, roaming through the closed doors of repressed sexuality and leaving them slightly ajar upon leaving.

According to Anne’s review,  “If ravens seem a bit dark and disturbing, consider them not only symbols of death, degeneration and bad luck. Tom Ford grew up in Austin, Texas – not Santa Fe, of course — but near America’s Indian Country, where ravens are the hallmark of shape-shifting. Ravens can see all things that are hidden. In addition, ravens brought light into the darkness of the world and transformed part of Maka, Mother Earth. A raven named plants and taught animals. After the success of his debut film A Single Man, a more thoughtful Tom Ford may be evolving into a mythical storyteller.”

The campaign features Freja Beha Erichsen and Nicholas Hoult plus a bunch of ravens. (the story continues right after the jump with more images!) There’s something undoubtedly, unquestionably strange about the imagery and people’s reactions. Kissing ravens? Devilishly smiling while being surrounded by ravens? Breastfeeding a raven? Now that’s something only Ford will be able to get away with. As much as they hate admitting to it,” the fash-people love to feel shocked and appalled. Disgusted, even. I’s in their uberfashionable nature. We, the mere mortals we’ll only see Hitchock all over again and think – oh, look, there’s Freja looking like Harry Potter! – say you didn’t thought about that!”

“Ravens and the corvid class  are, in the mythic mind, a grouping of creatures that, spread all over the world, cast a sight into the legendary mind of man and their link to the archetypal experience of the dark mystery and beauty of natural experience. Gathering the raven clan to the notion of brand, or telling experience, is entirely personal – what does this bird say to you? To each, their own, in the cast of Raven shadow and call to themselves. For me, their call always means one thing – pay attention!”


Tim Girvin “The Legacy Of The Corvid In Retail Brandstory And Merchandising.” , Sensuality , Stylefrizz ,  OpticalVision,

Remember the White Crow

By southern sonata (lj)

We’ve written before about leucism in crows and ravens, which can cause lighter or abnormal coloring. This little crow, however, is an albino; the difference being that leucism is a loss of pigment, whereas albinism is a lack of it.

By southern sonata (lj)

By southern sonata (lj)

From the book of Basil Livanova “Remember the White Crow.”  (The Notes of Sherlock Holmes)

What do you think, he said,  is the most beautiful bird?
I do not know, I say, probably the swan?
No, the old man shook his head.
Then the peacock, I said.
No. Never!
What about a parrot?
The old man laughs,
No, of course not. And then he says: The most beautiful bird on earth is a white crow.
I then looked at my father, as he was silent, listening to the old man.
Why a white crow? I asked.
Because, answered the old man, she is exceptional. You can see a flock of swans, seven peacocks, a herd of ostriches, but nobody has ever seen a whole flock of black sheep. This can not be.
The old man thrust out his beard and looked at us defiantly. But we did not object.
An odd bird can not be optional, exclaimed the old man. It should be an omen, a gift! Of course, any crow may get covered in flour,chalk, painted white. Many ordinary crows do so. But they are not white – they are clowns. And the white crow can vilify, but to make it black – impossible. It is a white crow! It is the most beautiful bird, because it is more difficult than others. She will always stand out. Therefore, as a rule, every game becomes the object of attack. But it is much more important than any crows in flight. Imagine a flock where within flies only one white crow. One will not remember the whole flock!  In life, these birds do not seem to happen. But in art, without them there is no life …

The Jungle Crow

The Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) is a crow (or Karasu烏 in Japanese) specific to Southeast Asia, and most prevalent in Japan. They are slightly larger than the Carrion Crow, and are affectionately called Corvus Growus Biggust by some locals. The Corvus japonensis, or large billed crow, is just one of 11 subspecies of Corvus Macrorhynchos. Some of these subspecies are distinctive vocally, morphologically and genetically, leading to speculations that more than one species is involved and they may not all be ‘Jungle Crows’ at all!

By Daniel Ruyle

The Jungle Crow’s feeding and nesting habits vary little from that of other Crows, with the exception of the Japanese variety which are notorious for scavenging. Their nesting habits are also much the same as their cousins, with the addition that they will sometimes end up with a Koel (a kind of Cuckoo) egg or two in their clutch.

Crows in Japan are regarded with mixed reaction. There is a large population of Corvid lovers – naturalists and spiritualists, but also a large number of haters. Tokyo’s governor Shintaro Ishihara created a “special commando” whose only purpose is “crow extermination”. This commando is starting to destroy nests and kill crows all around Tokyo in an effort to control their numbers. More recently a much kinder approach has been implemented to give 50.000 blue nets toTokyo’s citizens to cover their garbage bags when they put them outside their homes in the morning – the real source of the Crow population boom.  In contrast, Jungle Crows in India are more revered than hated, as the crow is a sacred animal in the Hindu religion.


Jungle Crows in Japan are known best for their particular talent of cracking nuts, a behavior mimicked in other crows there. Researchers believe they probably noticed cars driving over nuts fallen from a walnut tree overhanging a road. The crows already knew about dropping clams high above the beaches to break them open, but found this did not work for walnuts because of the soft green outer shell. As shown in this BCC video, when the lights change, the birds hop in front of the cars and place walnuts, which they picked from the adjoining trees, on the road. After the lights turn green again, the birds fly away and vehicles drive over the nuts, cracking them open. Finally, when it’s time to cross again, the crows join the pedestrians and pick up their meal.If the cars miss the nuts, the birds sometimes hop back and put them somewhere else on the road. Or they sit on electricity wires and drop them in front of vehicles.


By Daniel Ruyle

The Jungle Crow is best distinguished by the blue-violet sheen to its feathers, its large fat beak (making it almost appear like a very large jackdaw). In Japan, this species is larger than a Carrion Crow.  Due to the size difference, Jungle Crows are sometimes referred to as Asian Ravens, although they do not really possess the characteristics that would qualify it as such, and further west (such as in India) Jungle Crows are much smaller and sleeker. Their call is reminiscent of the Common Crow with a slightly deeper pitch, and they have been documented as mimicking woodpecker knocking.

Crows Chasing Crane, By Daniel Ruyle

By Daniel Ruyle

To view more incredible photos of Jungle Crows and other wildlife in Japan and India from Daniel Ruyle, click here

Stay tuned this month as we cover mythology and photography from India and Japan featuring this wonderful creature!

What Smells Fishy?

Fish Crow

Once found only along the Southeastern coast of the United States, fish crows have spread north. They’ve also moved inland, chowing down on a half-eaten Filet-o-Fish as well as a beached red snapper.

Robert Miller of Newstimes.com writes,”I hear it when I walk across The News-Times parking lot on the way into work in the morning — a sort of sneezy nasal caw, like a crow with adenoid problems…and I know a fish crow is nearby.”

It’s actually a good habitat for corvus ossifragus — the only crow that, at the moment, is a totally American bird. It likes streams and rivers, and the Still River and all its tributaries run through the neighborhood.

“A Dumpster and a stream,” said Pat Comins, director of bird conservation for Audubon Connecticut. “It’s good habitat for fish crows.”

Comins speculates that 10 years ago, when common crows, or Corvus brachyrhynchos, were hit by West Nile virus and had a dip in their populations, fish crows might have found a little room to move in.

Fish crows look pretty much like common crows, except they’re a little smaller — their wingspan is about 33 inches across and the length of their bodies can range from 14 to about 16 inches. Common crows have a 36-inch wingspan and can be 15 to 21 inches long.

“I can identify them in flight,” Comins said. “But the correct way to identify them is to hear their call.” (Again, think of a badly congested caw.)

And at the same time that fish crows are coming up from the South, the common raven — Corvus corax — is moving down from the North.

Comins said it isn’t right to think of ravens returning to Connecticut. Until recently, they haven’t been here.

They’re birds of the woods, and because Connecticut was largely farmland until the turn of the 19th and 20th century, they had no habitat.

“In the early records of birds in the state, they were considered rare,” he said.

But as the pastures-turned-woods grew back into forests, ravens began coming down to northern New England to set up nests in Litchfield County.

They’re the grandest of the corvids, with a wingspan that can be 45 to 50 inches across, a heavy bill, and a shaggy ring of neck feathers.

They don’t caw, they croak hoarsely — that is, when they’re not vocalizing with a wild variety of clucks and gurgles.

And like their black-feathered cousins, they’ve learned there’s good eating downtown.

Ravens — the mythical bird of the woods and mountains, the winged companions of Norse god Odin, chosen because of their intelligence — are becoming dumpster divers par excellence.

Comins said he’s seen all three — fish crows, common crows and ravens — at the same fast-food joint in Meriden, where he lives.

Give corvids an inch and a free meal, and smart birds that they are, they’ll take it.

“It’s a tribute to their adaptability,” Comins said.

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About the Photographers:

Vladimir Noumoff is a Montral , Canada native. View his photostream here.

Corey Finger is a writer and birding photographer from New York and is part of 10000 Birds.com



The Spirit Ravens of Qualicum Beach

We’ve all heard of the black raven, but rare sightings of a white version of the bird now have birding enthusiasts flocking to the island in hopes of spotting one.

Qualicum Beach, a beach and town on Vancouver Island British Columbia, has been home to rare white ravens for the past few years. This year, at least one new white raven has hatched, prompting birders to flock to the seaside paradise.

When most of us think of a raven, black immediately comes to mind. White ravens are the result of the mating of two common ravens with the same genetic defect. The same pair could produce many generations of white ravens, since common black ravens are monogamous and long-lived. See our previous post on why crows aren’t black.

Vancouver Island’s Qualicum Beach seems to be a special place, with white Ravens showing up every year for the past ten years as reported the Vancouver Sun. This year there is only one new white raven that has been seen, but that hasn’t stopped birders.

Mike Yip, a 66-year-old retired school teacher, heard reports of a sighting in the Qualicum Beach area. Armed with nothing more deadly than a Nikon D300 and his own curiosity, he went in pursuit of an elusive quarry. Mr. Yip was born in Duncan to a sawmill worker. He graduated with a science degree from the University of British Columbia in the centennial year. To his surprise, he wound up spending his working life in a classroom, teaching math and English at elementary, middle, secondary and alternative schools. The final quarter century of his career was spent in Parksville.He put aside his chalk in 2001, planning to spend his days on the golf course. But a chance encounter two years later changed his life.

“I came across a strange duck that I’d never seen before,” he said. “I spent two hours watching that duck trying to figure out what it was. I went home and got my old camera. From then on I just wanted to find every bird around and get as good a picture as I could.”

He has now seen five white ravens at Qualicum in the past three years.

White ravens are very special to the Haida. One British Columbia village which had a white raven resident memorialized the bird after it died, preserving it and displaying it at the Port Clements museum. Learn more about this lore here.

The Qualicum Beach area is home to over 200 species of birds through the summer season. White Raven sightings generate a great deal of excitement, as described in a 2002 article from the Fairbanks Daily News. Three fledglings,  all white Ravens, were rescued recently in the United Kingdom and are said to be faring well, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

The Chimney Cleaners – Jackdaws on the Roof

Both in the air and on the ground there is an irrepressible jauntiness about jackdaw movements. Yet perhaps the most useful distinguishing feature of this intensely sociable bird is its voice. The full range of calls is complex, although the best known is a monosyllabic, almost dog-like yap, of which the first part of the name is descriptive.

Jackdaws make another loud, resonant alarm note, an almost rook-like grating caw, and it is supposed that the bird’s old name of ‘daw’ is onomatopoeic of this sound. Another middle English word for the bird, Ca or Co is the origin for places such as Kaber in Cumbria, Caville in east Yorkshire and Lancashire’s Cawood.

Despite their wider reputation for guile and itelligence, jackdaws are well known for making heavy weather of the nest itself. They drop sticks into the cavity to make the foundations of the nest.

Sometimes it happens that a nice looking hole communicates with some bigger space below, and the sticks simply drop through. But once the birds have chosen a hole they may continue bringing and dropping in sticks for day and days until a really enormous pile accumulates.’In Hampstead, the workmen removed two or three cartloads of sticks from the towers, where a colony had nested, some people have been known to ‘harvest’ their jackdaw nests as kindling.

Enjoy our featured photographers this week in our nesting Jackdaws series:

By Law Keven

By cazjane97

by Chris Bolton

by Emma Rathbone

By Taco Meeuwsen

By Margareta Starring