One of the several UCLA ravens. They love the tall trees and tall buildings, and the acoustics that amplify their vocalizations across the historic center of campus.
The billboard reads “hip has found a home” but I’d call that “chic” wouldn’t you? Anyway it is about nesting season, so maybe this raven is considering a condo down the street. I’d been taking pictures of it for a few minutes, and it decided to take a closer look, flying in a circle over me at about 20 feet up, literally eyeing me up and down before returning to the billboard. The only other ravens I recall doing that live nearby in Runyon. Below, the same raven in a small pine a few yards from the billboard. It was awfully close to street level for a raven, and possibly the unusual behavior of human triggered some awareness that something strange or new was going on. It hopped three nervous neophobe hops on the billboard before flying over to take a look at me. They are used to humans paying them no notice at all here. A human actually peering at them and taking pictures has to be a novelty – something out of the ordinary in a very ordinary and predictable environment.
Crows love L.A. too. Nice interview with local ornithologist.
Where do ravens fit in? It occurred to me just now that before all the modern people showed up. C. brachyrynchos would not have been nearly as numerous in the region, and that ravens would have soared over the hills and valleys much as they still do, but without all their smaller cousins getting in the way, and probably not in quite so large numbers as today. But there is plenty of foraging for everyone.
They had found something to eat, but whatever it was could not be seen from any angle below. No vocalizing. Suspect later ravens were simply observing the early arrivals and joining the crowd – difficult to be an obscure raven on an LA rooftop. Six at most, and they didn’t really stay very long. Lots of jumping jacks.