Ravens, Still

I haven’t been getting out and about as much as I’d like. In the last month or so, I’d only seen Ravens twice. Two separate instances of a single bird.

They aren’t always together, but the Bush Terminal birds are usually seen in some kind of airborne proximity. These birds work together well in pairs and through the year. As you may know, they are very social animals. And nesting season is not too far away.

So, I was a little worried. Could one of them have been defeated by the city? But I shouldn’t worry based on limited intelligence. These birds have proved themselves survivors in an unlikely environment. On Saturday, I saw a report of two Ravens at Bush Terminal. On Sunday I saw two there myself. They were distant, one perched with a beakful of food on one of the warehouses, the other flying north towards it.

If these are the same birds, and it surely seems like they are, with great fidelity to Brooklyn’s coast, this will be their second breeding year here. Go to it, great corvids! Onwards, o pioneers!

Now, it so happens I went specifically to BTP to see if I could see the Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) that has been flying back and forth from there to the 59th Street Pier recently. This is a large (smaller only than the Great Black-backed) pale species that lacks the typical black wingtips of other Larus gulls. Its wings are grayish, but of such paleness it looks like a ghostly white, especially this individual. Melville would like this white.  They’re birds of the far north who sometimes wander down to our latitudes and beyond. Glaucous is from the Greek for gleaming or silvery; Athena, who will make another appearance in a post this week , was Glaukopis, the bright-eyed one.

From the shore, I saw the bird bathing and then flying south. It’s worth looking for if you haven’t seen one: they seem to carry the misty air of the Arctic with them.


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