Ravens Making Ravens?

Corvus coraxRemember when I saw a pair of Common Ravens flying and courting over a quiet (on the weekends) piece of the Sunset Park waterfront? It was a fantastic experience. I’ve been out to Bush Terminal Park several times since New Year’s Day, but didn’t have any luck in seeing the birds again until this weekend. I had, however, been hearing reports from others visiting the area who had seen the birds, so I knew they were still around. When I saw a tweet from the City Birder on Sunday about the birds gathering nesting material, I was out the door like a shot.

Arriving at Bush Terminal Park, a flock of gulls almost immediately took off, making me think they were fleeing from me. But there was a subadult Bald Eagle coasting overhead. The wind was fierce and cold, making all the birds move laterally along the coastline. (And making it really difficult to keep my camera steady!) I followed the eagle in my binoculars, towards a crowd of airborne gulls facing the buffeting wind. And there were the Ravens, seemingly hanging in the wind, jet black against the gray and white gulls.

I watched them return to the concrete pier three times to gather sticks, then fly along the coastline towards the north. Actually, only one would carry the stick. They have to be crafting a nest, sampling sticks for size, etc. If successful, this would be the first time this species has nested in Brooklyn since… well, the Pleistocene? (Traditionally, the birds were mountain and other upland breeders, but they have been making headways into urban areas, with Queens being the beachhead in NYC.)
Corvus corax

7 Responses to “Ravens Making Ravens?”

  1. 1 Paul Lamb March 18, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Good news. Question: Why would the gulls be fleeing a bald eagle? They’re scavengers, aren’t they, rather than raptors? Or do the gulls not know any better?

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