Ravens on the Terrace Bay Breeding Bird Survey: June 2021

Because I am now farther west, the surveys, which begin one half hour before sunrise begin later. I left my lodging at 4:30 am and drove about 25 kms up a gravel logging road to begin the survey at 5:17.

Beaver lodge

MYSTERY BIRD

I will identify it at the end of the post.

Some birds that Southern Ontario bird fanciers see only in migration dominate in the sonic landscape here: Alder Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Ovenbird, Nashville Warbler and Magnolia Warbler.

In my childhood we never saw ravens in the Toronto area due to DDT poisoning and hunting. I am delighted to say that they are now seen fairly regularly in the GTA.

But up here, north of Lake Superior, they are easy to find. Unlike the crow which is restricted to a vocabulary of “caw”, the raven has a large variety of clicks, clacks, bell-notes, screams, gurgles, croaks, harsh grating sounds and shrill alarms. This morning I saw some doing 360 degree turns in the sky. No wonder that Charles Dickens had one as a pet.

Here are some raven photos from this morning.

Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven

Near the Terrace Bay paper mill I found an adult with chicks.

Common Raven with chick
Common Raven with chick
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven

Other birds:

American Robin
Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Common Mergansers
Common Merganser (male)
Common Merganser (male)

The air this morning was drenched with the sweet perfume of the emerging Balsam Poplars:

Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamea)

Other botany:

Willow (Salix)
Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
Black Spruce (Picea mariana) pollen cones
young White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Speckled Alder (Alnus incana)

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)

MYSTERY BIRD

The broad black line through the eye with a white line above it and the rusty underparts identify this as a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

MAILBOX

Hi Miles, love those Sandhill cranes. Last week, Thursday June 3, 2021, I had the unbelievable good luck to see 35 or so American white pelicans off the tip of Point Pelee. I’d been birding with 2 of my brothers, still can hardly believe what I saw. May have to do with global warming. Thanks for your posts, I read them religiously.

NATURE POETRY

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the
floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted–nevermore! – Edgar Allen Poe

Miles Hearn


5 thoughts on “Ravens on the Terrace Bay Breeding Bird Survey: June 2021

  1. Wendy Trueman

    I once tried to delight and impress my Saskatchewan-based brother-in-law, an ornithologist, with my sighting of white pelicans in Mexico one winter. His response? “Wendy, where do you think they spend their summers?” He meant Saskatchewan, of course. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Judith Weatherhead

    Miles, thank you for being so generous in sharing your beautiful photographs. I look forward to every post.

    Reply
  3. Maria Pedersen

    Hi Miles. The peace and serenity you must feel on your drives must be very lovely. Beautiful scenery along with beautiful features of loving creatures. Keep well.

    Reply
  4. Lisa Volkov

    Well, we had to have Poe–of course! Great Ravens, great scenery, great birds, great ducks, great botany–I’m running out of superlatives. I love the North! (Also, great Pelicans– in the south!)
    Thanks, Miles!

    Reply
  5. rosemarie fischer

    the comments above mine say it all!!!! Wunderbar….Danke Miles…you give us so much….how can we ever Thank You……it is a “Life Line” you throw us when we need it most…..for real….Rosemarie

    Reply

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