Shade, a Very Smart Raven

Posted by in Aves, Current Corvids, Literature & History

Author Diane Phelps Budden witnessed firsthand the special relationship between Sedona resident Emily Cory and a raven and found it so inspiring that she has written a book for children, “Shade: A Story About a Very Smart Raven.” Cory was training Shade to rescue people in the Red Rock country of Sedona and one morning, while the raven was scouring her surroundings for breakfast, she came upon a man wandering in the desert, lost. Shade flies home to tell Cory, and they set off to find the man and lead him to safety, using her tracker. The story describes Shade’s potential as a search and rescue worker, much like dogs that law enforcement teams use as trackers. Cory based her master’s thesis at the University of Arizona on the feasibility of using ravens to help searchers find lost hikers in Arizona’s rugged desert areas.Says Diane of Emily, “

” She actually bought a raven fledgling , and wrote her thesis on the premise that ravens could be trained to help search and rescue teams find hikers lost in the High Country desert. Sorta like a rescue dog, but with wings! While Shade has not rescued her first person yet, Emily has trained her to recognize many words and shapes, and to wear a harness for the time when she will fly free to be tracked by a GPS device. I was so inspired with her work that I decided to write a children’s story about it.”

You can visit Diane’s blog here


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