Ravens form a wake-like gathering after 2 electrocuted
By TIM MOWRY
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via The Associated Press
Published: November 22nd, 2009 10:25 PM
Last Modified: November 23rd, 2009 12:55 PM
FAIRBANKS — Ravens have feelings, too, at least judging from an eerie scene Tuesday morning on Minnie Street in east Fairbanks.
After two ravens roosting on top of a power transformer were electrocuted, hundreds of ravens showed up within a minute or two and started silently circling overhead and perching in nearby trees.
Rod Stephens, owner of Rod’s Saw Shop across the street, saw the scene play out before his eyes after a man pulled into the shop and reported seeing sparks flying on top of the transformer.
"I walked out there and there were all these birds just circling. There were ravens in all the trees," he said. "It was weird."
Stephens estimated the number of ravens at "a couple hundred."
"It was like that movie, ‘The Birds,’ " he said. "I walked out and wasn’t sure if they were going to start dive-bombing me."
One of the electrocuted ravens had fallen to the ground and the other was still caught in the wires and transformer, Stephens said.
Ben Brees, a computer technician at Geek City across the street from Stephens’ shop, was driving to work when he saw what he described as "a vortex of ravens circling" next to the computer store.
"I could see them a half-mile away," Brees said. "It was a funnel of black birds. I pulled up to the building right as they were circling."
The birds only hung around for a few minutes before flying off, Stephens said.
"They said their respects and moved on," he said.