Corvus corax

On New Year’s Day, 2015, I saw a pair of Common Ravens at the eastern terminus of 39th St. in Sunset Park. They were canoodling and grooming each other. A mated pair in Brooklyn? When was the last time that happened? Were they here when Europeans arrived? In more recent decades, ravens stuck to remote and mountainous habitat. Were they driven to those redoubts by bipedal persecutors?

Then, that March, I watched them gathering sticks from the old piers of Bush Terminal Park. Ravens were nesting in Brooklyn… or somewhere very near by. As far as I know, nobody has ever found the nest site. They’ve probably reproduced, though: in June, 2016, I spotted a family of five down the street.

Anyway, two Saturdays ago, I came across a pair down at Bush Terminal Park and points further north. Pictures here are from my adventures that day. The same place as three years ago. Are they the same pair? Is one a survivor and the other a new mate? Are they another generation?
I’ve never gotten a very satisfactory picture of one of these big, noisy birds. That tail shape, though, is all raven. The bird was trying to break off a twig for a nest. Look at those toes!

A couple and their dog were actually standing right underneath this tree when I came upon the scene. They were amazed at the bird’s size, as big as a hawk, much bigger than a crow.

The bird flew, and we chatted. Then the other Raven flew overhead in the direction of the first.

The dog? His name was Odin. You can not make this stuff up in Brooklyn. (The Norse Odin had two raven companions, Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory.)

3 Responses to “Corvus corax”


  1. 1 alaspooryorick February 27, 2018 at 11:43 am

    well-read people and well-named pets

  2. 2 Paul Lamb February 28, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Corvids being such clever birds, I guess I’m surprised that ravens aren’t common in a place like Brooklyn where their opportunistic skills could be so well rewarded.


  1. 1 The Ravens | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on June 11, 2018 at 7:02 am

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