[Tweeters] Montlake Fill - no ATSP, but SEOW duel and EUWI

Duncan, Scot sduncan at bsc.edu
Tue Oct 31 14:27:29 PDT 2017

Hi Trileigh,

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. I went back and examined my photos closely considering the possibility of raven, and I am still convinced it was a crow. I realize one of the shots I posted shows a wedge-shaped tail, but that is a sidelong shot, whereas the many other shots I took and didn't post show a typical crow tail. In addition, the bill doesn't seem as robust as what a raven would have.

I also looked up sizes of the three species. The two in the photo are very similarly sized. It would have to be an extremely small raven, or a very large SE owl. The typical American crows I see around here are about the size of the bird in the photo, and match the size of an SE owl. Finally, while "likelihood" isn't a field mark, Ravens appear to be very rare at the Fill and surrounding neighborhoods.

All that being said, I admit to having only limited experience with ravens, and I am open to further consideration.

At any rate, I appreciate the opportunity that arose to study crows vs ravens in more detail than I've done before.

:-) Thank you,


From: Tucker, Trileigh <TRI at seattleu.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2017 4:40 PM
To: Duncan, Scot; Tweeters
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Montlake Fill - no ATSP, but SEOW duel and EUWI


Wow, what a great interaction and excellent photos! But I’d guess that’s a Raven, not a crow. I’m so envious you got to see a Shorty there – I’ll have to head over one of these days.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Trileigh Tucker, PhD
Professor Emerita of Environmental Studies
Seattle University

Pelly Valley, West Seattle
Natural Presence Arts website<https://naturalpresencearts.com/>

From: "Duncan, Scot" <sduncan at bsc.edu<mailto:sduncan at bsc.edu>>
Date: Monday, October 30, 2017 at 11:42 AM
To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu<mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Tweeters] Montlake Fill - no ATSP, but SEOW duel and EUWI


I abandoned all responsibilities and headed this morning to Montlake Fill to twitch the American Tree Sparrow. I dipped on the sparrow, but was treated to one of the most epic aerial duels I have every witnessed. High above the fill I spotted in the dawn’s golden light a raptor being harassed by crows. Expecting it to be a Red-tail, I was delighted to see it was a Short-eared Owl. This alone would have been quite rewarding for me since this is a species very uncommon in the Southeast US where I am from. But I then watched for several minutes as a very persistent crow and the owl fought several hundred feet above the Fill. I took some shots with my camera and you may enjoy seeing them on eBird (see link to checklist below). (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40213005).

I was able to relocate the Eurasian Wigeon, but then gave up on waterfowl as the light was atrocious and duties were calling me away.

Scot Duncan
(a temporary refugee from Alabama)

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