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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

May 24, 2012

Playing House?

Raven  with nesting material

Bird behavior can be quite fascinating, especially when it involves the more intelligent species.  On the last day of April, when I visited the little forest, I watched this Raven begin the construction of a nest in the fork of a tall tree.

Raven's typically perform their mating flight in late January or early Feb and soon after nesting begins. The Raven's young fledge at the beginning, or mid May. So I was naturally surprised to see this kind of activity, and decided to keep an eye on the nest.

Adding more nesting material
This one is difficult to manage

It took this particular Raven approximately two weeks to finish the construction, because at one point she didn't like the nests location and changed it. I watched as another Raven joined her, both quite busy with the construction.

She keeps trying
This time it's going into place

While Ravens and Crows normally get along well, they do not do so during nesting season. Raven don't descriminate, so they will prey on a crows young too. So When the crows that are also nesting in the little forest, noted their activity they immediately began mobbing the Ravens, forcing the male to defend his newly claimed territory.

Raven on watch
Young Raven

He wasn't very successful, but kept trying. This went on for a few days.  Then one day, last week, I went back to discover that the new nest had already been abandoned. I guess defending it against that many crows was nearly impossible.

Finished and abandoned

I learned last year that Ravens, being the intelligent creatures that they are, typically do not form a mating bond until they can prove that they are able to defend territory and provide food. My best guess is that this particular Raven pair were at practise/play, practise makes perfect after all and play can be practise.

Feeding Time
The Family

However, I also wondered why the Ravens that currently nest only a block away would put up with another pair setting up shop, as it were, so close to their nest. I could only conclude that at least one of this late nesting pair is one of their offspring, or because they are just juveniles they pose little threat. In the meantime, the pair that currently holds the territory has three fledglings. Here they are, above, being fed, very close to the newly constructed and abandoned nest.


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful information Susan! Ravens are a favorite of mine.