Journal archives for March 2024

March 13, 2024

Ravens nesting at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

Yesterday, March 12th 2024, Ed and I took a taxi up to Morningside Drive north of 110th Street but south of 113th street, in order to try to see the pair of Common Ravens that have built (or rather added to) a nest which is on the shoulders of a statue of Saint Andrew at the back of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, up near the roof. Apparently the nest was first built by red-tailed hawks.

David J. Ringer had told us about the pair of Ravens the day before because he knew that Ed was very keen to see a raven, never having seen one in his life before.

I think I had not seen a wild Raven either, only captive ones in the Tower of London, many years ago. However, very recently, on February 4th, to our surprise, David and I heard a raven call when we were outside where Ed and I live, on 77th Street between 1st and York Aves, so we knew they was at least one Raven that is sometimes not far away from the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

When we got to the viewing spot on Morningside Drive, there were four birders already there with binoculars, including one with an impressive telephoto lens and camera. I knew one of the birders (Ken Chaya) from the days I usually spend in the fall (late October to mid November) in the Conservatory Garden French Garden photographing a wide variety of insects on the Korean Chrysanthemums, including a lot of flower flies. Ken Chaya is usually there with Mike Freeman, photographing the insects, especially the flower flies and butterflies.

It was difficult at first for Ed and I to work out which of the many statues was Saint Andrew, and also to be able to see the tangle of twigs on the statue's shoulders, but soon we started to see the two ravens, as they moved around, flying to the nest and out into the surroundings, including across the road into the park. We did not see them carrying any nesting materials.

When one of the birds lands on the nest, the bird tends to disappear because the space behind the shoulders of Saint Andrew is very deep. However sometimes you can see the tail of the bird sticking out to the side of the nest.

I get the impression that the construction of the nest is already finished, but no eggs have yet been laid.

At one point we heard one of the birds call, a loud " Kronk". The whole experience was great. I really thank David J. Ringer for letting us know about this!

After watching the Ravens for a while I walked down into the park and poked round a bit in order to make some spring observations of plants.

Posted on March 13, 2024 02:07 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment