Date: 3/11/18 2:48 pm From: Ed Newbold <ednewbold1...> Subject: [Tweeters] Ravens and Crows
I very much appreciate the Raven/Crow posts!
I have Zero expertise on this subject so please what follows are only the personal musings of an amateur.
I tend to think of the mid 1970s to the 20-oughts as the peak of Crow hegemony in Seattle.
When I arrived in Seattle in 1976 it was a city that was awakening to the fact that Crows were newly everywhere. An article in the now-defunct Seattle Sun talked about how City Light had to redesign all its power poles because Crows were electrocuting themselves on the insulators. City Light didn't care about the Crows, but each electrocution at that time resulted in a small power outage.
An old timer told me there were virtually no Crows in the city in the 40s or 50s. Throughout America, Crows were shot and where I grew up in PA in the early 60's it was often hard to get within 400 ft. of one, for obvious reasons.
I peg the cause of the demise of the once huge urban population of Nighthawks to the urbanization of the Crow. Crows maxed around 1977 and Nighthawks were almost 100% gone by 1981.
Nature fights dominators and I have in recent decades witnessed one Osprey, one Red-tail and at least one Bald Eagle on Beacon Hill that appear to be specializing in repeat Crow nest predation.
Now the Ravens, which have been tightening the noose on the Crows for the last 40 years at the Crow/Raven boundary in Kitsap, Snohomish and Pierce Counties are finally closing in on the center, exhausting the effectiveness of the mob defense. Here in Seattle the nest predation-wars are perhaps just getting under way and it could be an interesting corvid decade.
Ed Newbold, back from Clark County yest. with Delia and Brian Penleton where the Snowy Egret was looking regal and energetic. Wouldn't it be great, at least from my perspective, if Snowy Egrets could establish a beachhead here!
Beacon Hill, Seattle <ednewbold1...>
PS. People are obviously free to dismiss my characterization of what's going on. Here is one of the pieces of anecdotal evidence I use to support it: My friend Rick Droker once told me he saw a Raven in Seward Park in the mid 70s. He said he thought that about 1000 Crows had mobilized to get rid of it. By contrast, Delia and I saw a Raven posted on a snag in Seward Park last year and there wasn't a Crow to be seen.