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Ryan Van Manen

Raven or American Crow - Grand Canyon

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Awesome common raven! One greeted me after hiking out the Bright Angel. He was a welcome sight after that--felt all groovy and mystical😂 I may have been slightly dehydrated by then.

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Posted (edited)

Absolutely, a Common Raven.

Edited by Kevin

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@Tony Leukering

What would be the draw for what seems to me to be a fairly non gregarious bird? 

Just looked for my county and there is a high count once for 46 but the same week the crow was at 700. Raven average high count was less than 2.

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I spent one summer as a young man in Canyon De Chelly.  I spent a lot of time around Spider Rock looking down from the several overlooks and admiring the view.  This was the place where Spider Grandmother taught the Navajo how to weave.  Several times I observed the Ravens riding the thermals and using the updrafts to flip over on their backs and fly upside down.  It seemed like they were playing games with each other.  Reminds me of the story of how Coyote lost his beautiful eyes to prankster birds.  They replaced his eyes with pine pitch which is why coyotes have yellow eyes to this day.  God I'm getting old.  I was amazed at the intelligence and ingenuity of the ravens in that area.  ❤️ 

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Ravens routinely form flocks. Immatures typically gang up and often/usually develop their long-lasting pair bonds in those flocks. I have seen flocks of >200 on multiple occasions, both in Common and Chihuahuan.

From the Birds of the World account (formerly Birds of North America account):

Degree Of Sociality

Usually either solitary or in pairs; pairs stay together year-round (Jollie 1976). Occasionally trios (of unknown relationships) may associate loosely throughout the year (Dorn 1972) including at the nest (BH). Nonbreeders are solitary, but gregarious at carcasses and other concentrated food sources, and they sleep in communal roosts where they recruit each other to food bonanzas (Heinrich 1988d, Marzluff et al. 1996a). “Aerial assemblies” develop where considerable aerial displaying is often performed (Dorn 1972).

Often forages in crowds, particularly juveniles and nonbreeders (Dorn 1972, Stiehl Stiehl 1976, Stiehl 1978, Jollie 1976). Individuals within feeding (and hence roosting) crowds are not more closely related than are individuals from among flocks (Heinrich et al. 1994, Parker et al. 1994b, Heinrich and Marzluff 1995). Crowds form throughout the year, probably depending on seasonality of different food resources. Juveniles may form feeding crowds to overwhelm defensive adults at concentrated food sources (Heinrich 1989, Marzluff and Heinrich 1991) and in Maine use a characteristic Yell Call to attract others before eating. Not all crowds form to exploit food sources (Brown 1974d).

Communal nocturnal roosts often form, generally in trees or on telephone poles and high-tension power-line towers, near food; size and duration of such roosts may be related to size of the carcass or other food source. In Maine, when winter food consists mainly of deer carcasses, roosts may number 50–100 birds and last ≤1 wk (Heinrich 1988d, Marzluff et al. 1996a). In w. North America, where grain is a primary food, roosts may include >2,000 birds, can last months or years, and can be >21 km from the food source (Engel and Young 1989 a, Watts et al. 1991, Engel et al. 1992, Littlefield and Ivey 1994). Roosts are occupied mainly in fall and winter (Dorn 1972, Temple 1974, Harlow et al. 1975, Stiehl 1981, Watts et al. 1991), but use of roosts at other times of the year is not uncommon (Brown 1974d, Engel et al. 1992, Littlefield and Ivey 1994). Watts et al. (Watts et al. 1991) found a positive correlation (r = 0.88, p < 0.001, df = 125) between windchill factor and number of ravens at a winter roost on the Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba.

Birds typically collect at a nearby staging area (up to 1 km away), then depart for the roost site in groups around sunset (Cushing 1941, Stiehl 1981, Young and Engel 1988, Engel et al. 1992), but time of arrival may be affected by weather conditions (Young and Engel 1988). Departure from the roost site is generally near dawn and the entire roost may leave as a group, often after a group soaring display (Stiehl 1978, Cotterman and Heinrich 1993, Young and Engel 1988, Engel et al. 1992, Marzluff et al. 1996a). Other times birds depart solitarily or in pairs (Stiehl 1976). More typically, however, birds may wander and move from one roost to another (Young and Engel 1988, Engel et al. 1992, Heinrich et al. 1994).

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On 4/16/2020 at 6:56 AM, Kristy said:

Awesome common raven! One greeted me after hiking out the Bright Angel. He was a welcome sight after that--felt all groovy and mystical😂 I may have been slightly dehydrated by then.

Welcome to Whatbird!!

If the Raven had quoth "Nevermore", then I would have been getting worried if I were you!! 😄

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On 4/17/2020 at 12:36 AM, Totah Sam said:

I spent one summer as a young man in Canyon De Chelly.  I spent a lot of time around Spider Rock looking down from the several overlooks and admiring the view.  This was the place where Spider Grandmother taught the Navajo how to weave.  Several times I observed the Ravens riding the thermals and using the updrafts to flip over on their backs and fly upside down.  It seemed like they were playing games with each other.  Reminds me of the story of how Coyote lost his beautiful eyes to prankster birds.  They replaced his eyes with pine pitch which is why coyotes have yellow eyes to this day.  God I'm getting old.  I was amazed at the intelligence and ingenuity of the ravens in that area.  ❤️ 

Wow.  I feel like I was reading one of my Tony Hillerman books.

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