Raven Aerial Circus

Allan Ridley

If you are interested in observing ravens in flight, choose a windy afternoon and go to intersection of Belvedere & Rivoli Sts. and look up to the east. Sunday afternoon from 1pm to about 6pm, the ravens were engaging in the most delightful aerial displays. Some 40 birds at the peak were flying against a strong west wind above the towering eucalyptus on Clayton St. emitting a great variety of croaks, caws, toots and bass trills whilst diving, wings in delta position, rolling with fully open wings, tumbling with wings open or closed, chasing in pairs, triples, then sweeping low then up and back to altitude on the winds to repeat. Amazing dexterity and commitment...what about a lunch break? A red tailed hawk hovered above the jostling mob for much of the time, occasionally getting drawn in or playfully chased by some of the ravens, a small hawk likely a male. I'm wondering if this might be a courtship / pair bonding activity or just flying for the sheer joy of it....40 plus birds!...Some seem to have returned this morning as well.
Best wishes,

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