Friday, October 29, 2010

Corvid Canyon

Many folks go west to see the expansive scenery, and of all the glorious sights- nothing could be more famous than the Grand Canyon. However, in honor of this ambassador to birding, I would like to rename this section: Corvid Canyon.

Common Ravens rule much of the west, and along this wall, he is the cock-of-the-walk. While often written off by the uninformed as just crows-on-steroids, these jumbo sized Corvids are highly intelligent and long noted for their problem-solving abilities. Ravens are common throughout the south-west and greatly revered in Native American legends. As omnivores, their varied diet allow them to prosper on the bleakest habitats as well as lush woodland edges. This handsome one was not above snacking on tourist left-overs when presented with opportunity.

Just over the raven's shoulder was one of the most scenic overlooks in Arizona. We returned to this same spot several times, as it offered spectacular views and a good variety of Corvids. We found not only ravens, but several species of jays that I had hoped to locate as well.

The Western Scrub Jays were obvious, acting much in the manner we would expect from our own eastern Blue Jays.

However, the Pinion Jays were fast and flighty, determined not to be photographed. PJ's are a bit smaller and more evenly blue than the other jays present. They flocked together, hard at work gathering pinion cone seeds.

The gaudiest of the jays, the dark headed Stellar's Jay was also present at this stop. He loudly squawked at me from within the pine trees but refused any photo opportunities, as well.

So I returned to the overlook wall to spend quality time with my favorite Raven, and we both admired the view.


  1. ...loved this post! I always love seeing Ravens...

  2. Thanks Kelly-

    I enjoyed the photo time spent with this scamp, even if he was a bit of a beggar! It was amazing to be so close to such a majestic bird.

  3. You really captured the atmosphere with your post and photos!