Meanwhile in the Media District

The nest on the side of the world’s largest billboard is definitely open for business. These would be the ravens in Hollywood par excellence. Finding a place to observe them from will not be terribly easy. Sure, I could hang out with the local teenagers at the corner mini-mall, but I would rather the ravens be the center of attention, not the bird geek watching them. I don’t think Kodak fancies me perched on their roof, even if I am a customer. It’s too bad The Corner is not on the right corner. I could sit with my coffee, newspaper and telephoto lens for hours.

The other problem of course is that the ravens often fly about and around Iron Mountain, in and out of view. And the nest itself is so high that I’d have to be a block east or more to have a decent view.

In other news, an upscale hotel for dogs has opened in the building at the base of Iron Mountain. A veritable animal kingdom here. It’s rare the resident of Hollywood who does not keep animals, especially dogs, since you can accessorize with dogs in a way that’s just not possible with cats.

Batravens

Drove all the way up to the top of Beechwood at the end of the day to see if the big roost was still on at the campground in Brush Canyon. Sort of. Apparently it has moved to the Branson Caves quarry – famous as the entrance to the old TV batcave. So with the binoculars I could see a party going on in the big bowl of the quarry, but could not see inside, and of course you have to drive all the way back down to Franklin to drive back up to Brush Canyon. Didnt’ really make it in time. So there you go. I did get a super-close-up look at a pair sitting atop a telephone pole near me, and for the first time really saw ravens “kissing.”

More Nesting 2009

Almost all the nesting sites that I observed last year are back in use. I am collecting photos, and during a mini-vacation this coming week I hope to make a lot more observations. So far:

Blessed Sacrament Church: there are two nests, and ambivalent birds. On Oscar Sunday, they were adding small twigs to the nest on St. Thomas Aquinas. Both birds were doing this – (I am pretty sure that I’ve read in Heinrich that the building activity was divided by sex, but this didn’t seem to be the case with these birds. But the nests were mostly constructed, being left over from last season.) The following Sunday, two birds were adding soft material to the nest on top of St. Catherine of Siena. I’m not going to go so far as to assume these are the same birds, because I’ve also seen a lot of competition this year. This is one of the nests that produced at least one fledgling.

Iron Mountain: this Hollywood icon is now a site of contest. Last Friday I observed two birds visiting the nest (the highest above ground that I know of). Yesterday (also Friday) I observed one bird alighting on the nest, to be followed and chased away by another. Just before that incident, not far away (Fountain and Orange) I had seen two ravens in hot pursuit of a third, in the direction away from Iron Mountain. (I’m sure this building must have a proper name, I’ll have to find out what it is).

The Apple Street Ravens: at Fairfax and Apple, in a power line pylon. On my first visit I did not see a nest, but did find the pair of ravens foraging in the remains of a sub sandwich. Happily I had the camera with me. Driving past yesterday, I saw a nest in the pylon, on the opposite side from its location last year. This is near a drainage channel, the freeway, a large DWP sub station, and a small public park, but not many restaurants. Still, I suspect there is plenty of food. This is one of the nests that produced at least one fledgling.

The Del Ravens: I have seen a pair of ravens frequenting the billboard that was the site of last year’s nest. There is also a pair of ravens frequenting a nest on the side of a bank building halfway between Lincoln and Pershing. A pair of ravens also likes to sit on a billboard off the 90 freeway, overlooking some of the Ballona Wetlands, very close to Ballona Creek itself. Are they all the same ravens?

Billy Wilder Square: this week I observed a raven beneath a billboard here with a large twig in its beak, so once again there may be an effort on the part of yet another pair to do something with that location. This may be out of desperation due to the proximity to Blessed Sacrament, Runyon, and Iron Mountain. It may simply be that the Blessed Sacrament ravens are keeping all comers out of the Iron Mountain site.

Runyon Canyon: need to visit. The tree is very dense, and the nest is never actually visible.

Griffith Park: have not seen any nests or activity yet. The massive roost there may be a factor?

Baldwin Hills: stopped for cheap gas at Slauson and Labrea, and while I was filling the tank, a raven appeared overhead with a twig in its beak. Took photos. No idea where it went or where it may be living. Frequently see a pair of ravens there while on the way to work or back. Area is south of the zone in which the Apple Street ravens are nesting, and probably they share a border.