Monday, June 13, 2011

Reese River Ravens

While driving through central Nevada about two weeks ago, we decided to stop at the Reese River to check on the water level. The pullout is a short jog from the river overpass, so I jogged on over, taking my camera with me. When I arrived, two ravens were making quite a ruckus overhead, distracting me from my goal of looking at the river.

I wondered what was up.
I looked over toward the concrete wall adjoining the overpass bridge and saw a mass of black feathers in a large nest.
Is this what all the overhead squawking was all about? I've been chased off and then led away from a nest by an owl before, and have been dive bombed by unfriendly gulls. Fortunately, these ravens stayed overhead: no dive bombing ensued.
I can count four beaks, and am sure there is at least one more bird, for a total of at least five.
I didn't want to disturb the almost fledglings (and parents) further, so left without veiwing the river level. As we drove on our way, going over the little overpass, the nest was obvious from the highway, if you knew where to look — and we did! Would coyotes be able to find them? The nesting location has easy access to water, and easy access to roadkill food. Hopefully, the overpass helps to keep the coyotes away, as their is no immediately close-by crossing area.

On our way back through about five days later, the nest was still there, the parents were squawking at a troublesome road-maintenance crew, and one nearly full-grown raven was standing in the nest. I couldn't tell if the others had fledged, or if they were wisely keeping their heads low. Maybe they are all flying by now.

Related Post:
Signs of Spring: Ravens: nesting season in early April, on quartzite.


Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Having been dive bombed by aggressive, nest guarding crows before, I'm glad that their larger relatives are more chilled out; we've had ravens in our campsites before, and they are HUGE! I love their deep, throaty calls, too - they're just so much better than crows in almost every way!

Silver Fox said...

Yes, ravens are cool, unlike their crow cousins. Not sure why. Maybe they just have better PR! ;)