quoth the raven, “I’m not a crow!”

For the last few months, I’ve been following the progress of a pair of nesting ravens in Queens, NY, via 10,000 Birds. I couldn’t really understand how the author knew he was looking at ravens, not crows. I began to doubt my crow sightings – the TOC lists both crows and ravens as confirmed breeding species, so who knows what I’ve been seeing?

A day or two ago, my doubts were dissolved in the face of a raven flying through the backyards (not the yards directly, but the garage roofs and alley-tree beyond). Its deep, guttural croak, and its shockingly large size, clearly distinguished this bird from the crows I’m used to seeing in our neighbourhood (only our neighbourhood, I might add – nowhere else have I seen crows in this city; the highways, the “greater areas,” sure, but not the city proper).

P.S. This bird was so big, comparatively-speaking, that S thought at first it was a raptor. Nope, just a corvid; but, speaking of raptors, I just stumbled on the Secretary Bird. Now, I’m normally a little turned off by bald bird-skin, but I think this is the most beautiful, amazing bird I’ve ever seen. And what a name! Check it out.

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3 Responses to “quoth the raven, “I’m not a crow!””
  1. absurdoldbird says:

    We sometimes get huge crows here that I sometimes think might be ravens, but then they turn out to be just very big crows. The only ravens I’ve consciously been aware of have been the ones guarding the Tower of London.

    • Nicole says:

      Oh no… way to throw a kink in my bird list! ;) No, I’m pretty sure this was a raven – the voice, the heavy beak… Thank you for that link – what an amusing story! “As the Tower of London’s Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster, Derrick is responsible for [...] ensuring the royal decree issued by Charles II – that there are always six ravens at the Tower – is obeyed. Legend has it that if the birds leave the site, its White Tower will crumble and the Kingdom of England will fall.” I love it. I’m happy for the guy – he claims to love it, and I bet he does – but what a crazy job. (I know I’d enjoy working with birds, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about having to serve 22 years in the army first, and then for just $32K, less 6% for rent, to live away from my spouse! Well, it takes all sorts. :)

      • absurdoldbird says:

        I was more put off by the food they have to have – er, blood sandwiches?
        Ewww! :( ;)

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