The Rook Ascending

How did I come across this video? By checking in on the Twitter feed of a corvid researcher. As she feels necessary to point out these days, that’s a corvid researcher, not a covid researcher.

How did I come across the corvid researcher’s Twitter feed? By being directed to a post she’d written on distinguishing crows and ravens.

How did I come to be wanting to distinguish crows from ravens? By being asked by a former colleague of the Big Guy whether my rather-better-at-bird-identification brother could identify a mystery bird in a photo.

I offer this partial back story on the wriggly and improbable path that led me to this place in case you want to explain your own path to someone. Because I’m pretty sure you’ll want to share this YouTube video. Or at least to share in the sheer joy, fun, and silliness of this production, while marvelling at its production professionalism.

One way of thinking about life is to see ourselves as members of a choir. Perhaps not exactly (certainly not yet) the choir invisible of Monty Python’s Parrot Sketch, but nonetheless a choir of various voices raised in various places. We just have to decide what song we’ll sing, and what notes we’ll contribute.

Use what talents you possess;
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke

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10 Responses to The Rook Ascending

  1. Fabulous! They made me cry! I long for singing in our choir, and no prospect is on the horizon. Practice at home is not the same at all.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – I thought you’d like this one. 🙂 They made me cry, too, and I don’t even sing in a group. May it come back soon.

  2. Jim Taylor says:

    Loved the singing, loved the dancing, loved the freedom of expression, and loved the raven falling off the log at the end. I assume he’d been sleeping until then.

    P.S. I think I know some of those people. Or maybe I’d just like to know some of them.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Just resting, maybe, like the Monty Python parrot. Glad you liked it. You must be missing the choir-ing too.

  3. Tom+Watson says:

    That was fabulous!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – I know! And not trivial to put together, as you can imagine. The synchronization required is hard to achieve when people can’t hear each other.

  4. Jim Robertson says:

    Interesting where the internet can take you. Excellent find Isabel. Thanks.

    (Did you get your explanation of the difference between a crow and raven after all that?)

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – Well, I *read* the list of features that distinguish crows from ravens, but I can’t say I can *make* the distinction.

  5. How perfect. I miss choir singing. I miss people. I miss the laughter and the joy. These folks have given us new ideas for fixing some of that! Thank you. This is more than silliness.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I don’t suppose choirs are a thing of the past, but it’s sure not obvious how far into the future it will be before they’re a thing again. I’m exceedingly impressed by folks who can make “pace tapes” and craft these delightful videos. I know from my own small efforts that they’re a lot of work.

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