Bernie

The very vocal young raven I mentioned in my last post was pretty easy to find most evenings last summer. I named him Bernie because his vocalization, a very frequent (every 30 seconds or so, if I remember well) waawk! sounded just like the somewhat demented whoop! made by the mascot of the Inland Empire 66ers.

Bernie.JPG

I’ve just been calculating – not something I do well, which is one reason I’m not a biologist! However, based on some research about hatching and fledging times, it may well have been possible for Bernie and his parents to have been the ravens from the nest at the edge of the burn area – the birds in this blog’s masthead. Finishing touches on the nest at the intersection of Hollywood Drive and Western Canyon Road were being put on around March 1. From that date there were 68 days or so until the fire. Just long enough. So it’s possible. But impossible to verify. But Fern Dell is straight downhill from there, and the easiest place to flee to if you can’t fly very well yet. With that scenario, Bernie would have been around 130 days old or so at the time of the photo above.

Park slowly healing

LA Parks and Rec. has reopened the most-used trails above the Observatory, so I can go back and inspect the former nesting area from above, and from the location the masthead photo, above, was shot. The nest actually survived in the top of its tree, but there was a lot of defoliation. I suspect either water or fire retardent was dumped on the site, and it’s very unlikely that any little ravens got away unless they could already fly. There was one very vocal juvenile in Fern Dell and Mocohuenga Canyon (Western Canyon) in the weeks after the fire. Unless nesting density is incredibly high, it’s hard to imagine where else the family could have come from.