Early nesters

Flanders Moss NNR 

The ravens on Flanders have repaired their nest. With a range of large stout birch trees all around they have chosen a thin spindly birch that looks barely strong enough to hold their construction. But ravens are very clever so I am sure this is by design; the thinner the tree the less chance of nest predators climbing it. It is interesting to see that the nest is made of very similar sized twigs, all strong but nobbly that link together well.

Ravens are one of the first birds to start to breed. They should be just starting to lay eggs now. When the birds have to incubate those eggs in baltic winter conditions it can seem like bad planning but it is done so that the chicks hatch and can be fed at a time of maximum carrion i.e. at the end of winter / early spring.
There are always a load of twigs that either get discarded by the birds or don’t lock in and fall out.

A group of ravens is called a ‘conspiracy’ or an ‘unkindness’ of ravens because in the past they had a reputation for evil and bad luck. But this seems a bit unfair as researchers have found that ravens recognise other ravens even when they haven’t seen each other for years. And they have friends and acquaintances to whom they show favourable behavior which that suggests that they like them and are pleased to see them. They can even do basic non-verbal signals such as pointing beaks in the same way as we point fingers. How cool is that? This is why they are one of my favourite birds. If you get the chance to watch a raven take it, they never fail to entertain.

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2 Responses to Early nesters

  1. peigimccann says:

    Terrific photo of the nest. Here’s an article you might be interested about ravens returning to the SF Bay Area. I live south of there and in the past decade the ravens have definitely returned, a wonderful site! https://baynature.org/article/the-raven-returns/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elen Sentier says:

    When I was growing up in the wilds of Exmoor in the 1950s I was taught to call a group of ravens a “Kindness” of ravens, not unkindness! Same for many of my friends too. Perhaps we could all go back to that ???
    Excellent blog, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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