Bird Bits: The demanding fledgling

The hefty and demanding "teen" ravens are out of the nest and putting their parents to the test.

Fledgling common ravens are everywhere!


“Caw, caw, caw, caw … feed me, feed me, feed me,” they seem to say.

The hefty teenagers are out of the nest, but they are still pressing demands on their parents. Meanwhile, the parents are doggedly building the flight and foraging skills of their youngsters.

One birder’s experience was that ravens are reclusive with their nesting. Yet, another birder in the Nancy Lake area has a nest in a group of spruce trees in the back yard.

Since March, the activities of that raven family have been closely followed. Parent ravens brought the food to little pink mouths with a hinge reminding one of a lit runway. Later, parents lured the big babies to fly to them for a bite … and fly a bit farther and farther.

For a couple of weeks in the Lemon Creek area, I have seen a mass of large, black-colored birds. More than 80 of them come daily over the tops of the tall spruce. Are they Northwest crows or common ravens? The tail tells the tale; a tail shaped like the end of a wedge shovel equals raven.

Is this gathering up high in the spruce “summer school” for all the ravens in Lemon Creek valley? One day, two groups of more than 80 ravens converged. Viewed from below, the parents’ tails and wings were heavily molting. Their flight sounded like rubbing a dry brittle brush.

An experience like that one just might be a bucket list item for many folks.

• Patricia Wherry is the Education Chair for the Juneau Audubon Society. Contact her at


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Sport fish report for May 14, 2018

The weekly sport fish report is written by the Alaska Department of Fish &Game and made available to the public on a weekly basis. For... Read more