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Raven and the Birds

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by

Sarah Crumb

on 17 May 2013

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Transcript of Raven and the Birds

Adapted from a Tlingit story
Words and illustrations by
Sarah J. Crumb Raven and the Birds American Robin Raven taught Robin to sing. He told Robin to sing for the people, who will enjoy hearing his song.
Robin sang. Northern Flicker Steller's Jay Raven told Jay that people will admire his color, and want to dress like him.
Jay showed off. 3 Of course you know how Raven discovered the first people in the giant clam. Of course you know how Raven brought light to the skies. But did you know Raven visited all the birds and gave them special skills? Perhaps you've seen some of these birds in your own backyard! Let's take a look... Raven told Flicker he will be seldom seen. But people will hear his sharp cry.
Flicker hid. American Crow Raven told Crow that they would be great talkers, and will make a lot of noise.
Crow cawed. Anna's Hummingbird Bald Eagle Raven told Eagle that he will be very powerful. He gave him good eyesight, and talons.
Eagle hunted. Maybe you have seen an American robin in your yard. They like to dig for worms in the grass. What else do they like to eat? Image: www.superstock.com Flickers are a type of woodpecker. They make nests in holes in dead trees. Have you heard a woodpecker hammering on a tree trunk? What do you think they are doing? Image: www.naturemappingfoundation.org Have you ever found a blue feather in your backyard? Maybe it belonged to a Steller’s jay. Image: www.glennbartley.com Crows are very smart birds. Have you seen a big group of crows before? They are very noisy together. Why do you think they make so much noise? Image: www.birds.cornell.edu Raven told Hummingbird that people will love to see them.
Hummingbird fluttered. Have you ever seen a hummingbird? They like to drink nectar from flowers or bird feeders. What other creatures drink nectar? Image: www.drjoephoto.com This tale was adapted from the much longer Tlingit "Raven" epic, which includes the more famous stories of finding the daylight and discovering the first people. Less well known was this part of the story, which involves Raven taking birds as his "servants." Many birds were named and given traits, but for this story I wanted to focus on familiar backyard birds, so I picked these six: American robin, Northern flicker, Steller's jay, Crow, Anna's hummingbird, and bald eagle. Each of these birds is common in the Seattle area, and can regularly be seen near home.

The Tlingit and other Northwest Coast Native American tribes told stories of Raven and other mythical animals to explain and understand the world around them. Often, dances and other ceremonies were part of the storytelling. Birds were a prominent feature in their stories, probably because they lived in harmony together, just like we do today. For Educators Background Enjoying Birds in Your Backyard You can learn more about the birds in your own backyard by doing the following:
Make bird feeders
Set up bird houses
Look at bird identification books
Drawing the birds you know and see
Use binoculars to see birds up close Image: Kwakwak'wakw Hamatsa dancers by Edward S. Curtis Children can pretend to be birds. What behaviors can they mimic? What other birds can they pretend to be? What kind of dance can they perform as a bird? Children can create their own bird art. What can they make? What body parts does a bird need to be a bird? What color is it? Bald eagles are fish eaters. Do you think having good eyesight and sharp talons helps them hunt? Can you think of other birds with talons? Image: www.allaboutbirds.org Project Dragonfly
Miami University
Woodland Park Zoo
May 2013
Full transcript