Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

Donegal golfers 'ravin' and 'teed off' over ball thief

by Nuala McCann

Golfers in Donegal have had enough of a certain ball thief.

The Greencastle Golf Club on the Inishowen Peninsula has received a steady stream of complaints about a large raven swooping down to steal golf balls.

raven
The ball thief is thought to be a large black raven

Billy McCaul, the office manager at the club said golfers believe the thief is a raven. It is the kind of birdie, they'd rather not score.

Initially the ball thief was a source of amusement.

But four months after the first ball was stolen, golfers are becoming fed up with a good game spoiled.

After launching the perfect drive, they are moving forward to discover the ball missing from the green.

RAVENS
Ravens are one of the most intelligent birds in the world. They've been spotted pulling fishing lines out of lakes to steal the fisherman's catch.

They can mimic human voices.

In Germany and Sweden, people believed ravens were the ghosts of dead and murdered people.

Legend has it that the Norse god Odin had a pair which were his eyes and ears.

They can fly upside-down during courting displays.

The collective noun for ravens is an "unkindness".

Ravens are 'neophobic' - they do not like new things or people.

Ravens have a reputation for stealing shiny objects including pebbles and bits of metal.

Mr McCaul said the club management were at a loss as to how to deal with the large bird thief who has become increasingly bold.

Only white balls are stolen - yellow balls are left where they lie. Some people believe that the raven is mistaking the white balls for eggs.

Ravens are very large birds. They have a 4ft wingspan.

In flight, the raven has a diamond-shaped tail. During mating displays, the raven can fly upside down.

Ravens have a unique "honk honk" or "cronk cronk" call which sounds a little like a car horn.

The birds like to nest in fir trees and can be found in woodland areas.



Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific