[Tweeters] Raven-raptor party, Lincoln Park

Tucker, Trileigh TRI at seattleu.edu
Tue Aug 22 15:56:13 PDT 2017

Hi Tweets,

We observed quite a set of interactions in Lincoln Park this morning.
(Some photos in links, but they¹re poor due to dark setting,
photographer¹s lack of quick-enough thinking, etc.) We had just come up
the steep trail from the beach when we heard a raven¹s majestic voice
ringing through the forest. We approached it to see if we could get a
glimpse, but it was high up in a cedar behind a tangle of branches. It
kept moving around the tree, descending gradually.

After several minutes, we saw another bird in the tree: a Barred Owl who
flew through the tree¹s branches to perch, looking anxiously over its
shoulder and upwards at the raven. Shortly it flew to another perch in the
tree. The raven made its way downward toward the owl. At one point the owl
seemed to fly at the raven, who flew off but came back almost immediately
to work its way back through the branches toward the owl. I was impressed
at how small the owl looked near a flapping raven. We were amused by a
hummingbird then getting in on the action: a 3-item sample of almost all
sizes of our forest¹s more dramatic birds, from tiny to huge: hummer, owl,

Now the raven was just a few feet away, as best we could tell, cawing
directly at the owl. The owl was on an outside branch of the cedar, facing
outward but with its face pointing inward toward the raven behind it‹I
assume to be able to make a quick getaway when needed, while keeping an
eye out on the aggressor behind it. Then the owl indeed flew a few feet

Šand a couple of seconds after that, the Coop showed up.

Between the kekking and the quorking and the general hullabaloo, it was
hard to keep track of everybody as they all yelled at each other and moved
around in the same tree. (I assume the hummingbird was also chittering,
but got fairly thoroughly drowned out in the cawcawphony.) I had my 300mm
fixed lens with me, and even with that, at one point I had all three birds
simultaneously in the view ­ a lousy shot, but you can make them out in
the link below. The raven seems to be immediately above the owl, and the
Coop is a few feet away.

A minute or two later, the owl flew out and across the path at our head
level, to deep in another cedar, followed by the raven and then the Coop,
who flew to an adjacent tree. The owl stayed fairly hidden behind the
trunk. Then the raven flew to another part of the woods, with the Coop in
hot pursuit.

I¹d love to be able to figure out all the social dynamics ­ who was
chasing whom, whose turf was where and who had invaded and why ­ but in
any case, it was a dramatic morning here in West Seattle!

Raven just above owl: <https://www.flickr.com/photos/trileigh/36743343195>
Raven, owl, and Coop: <https://www.flickr.com/photos/trileigh/35909062814>

Good birding to all,

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Trileigh Tucker
Pelly Valley, West Seattle
Website: <https://naturalpresencearts.com/>
Photo Galleries: ImageBrief
and Flickr

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