Martel and Hawthorne

8 a.m. Two ravens on a telephone wire. Allopreening. One raven (?) further down the wire, preening tail feathers.

They seemed small – sometimes I am never sure, but there is something about ravens that makes it so clear they are not crows. Is it the large, sharp beak? The peaceful demeanor? But unless I see them in flight, the doubt is always there.

These might be the same odd trio that I’ve notice on the new “luxury apartments” that have just been completed at LaBrea and Hawthorne, with the raven-friendly metal railings around the roof patios.

The main question

of the season is How many breeding pairs are there in however much of L.A. that I can manage to cover? I have read about breeding density in Germany (sparse) and on islands (very dense). Although Dr. Heinrich mentioned a breeding pair in Bern, I haven’t seen anything else. Web sites indicate that UCLA harbors at least two nests, and I know the Furama Hotel has been the site of another.


are ravens *not* in Los Angeles? They live where I live (Hollywood), and they live where I work (Del Rey Hills/Westchester/LAX). But do they live everywhere? If I lived in Venice, for instance, would I be likely to see them every day, or with the same frequency? In the Santa Monicas you have only to look or listen for a few minutes before they become obvious. Is it the same in Echo Park or Boyle Heights?

Runyan Canyon

9-10 a.m.
Pair of ravens observed one canyon to the west, who soon moved across Runyan to station themselves in the yard of one very lucky residence that sits atop the Canyon. There they stayed in the foliage, vocalizing, leaving only once to fly around me after I had left my place watching them. They made warning noises from their cover at the overflights of a large hawk. Other ravens could be observed on occasion, traveling west. One overflew, gliding, in a straight line over Runyan to approximately Mt. Bell. This one and the pair in their cover exchanged vocalizations (not warning style?) Another was observed soaring over the Hollywood sign.

A glossary is much needed for vocalizations. Possibly for everything else. Soaring, for instance, is a sort of circular motion, as opposed to the very linear glide.