[CT Birds] West Rock Common Ravens

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Mon Feb 24 09:53:22 EST 2014

From Steve Broker (Cheshire):
02/23/14 - Woodbridge, West Rock Ridge, afternoon trip to the ridge top -- West Rock is a 7-mile long, north-south trending trap rock ridge in the towns of New Haven, Hamden, Woodbridge, and Bethany.  The West Rock Common Ravens are nesting again on a well-hidden, inaccessible, and undisclosed cliff ledge, first used in 2003. On February 11 (my most recent previous visit to West Rock due to the recent heavy snowfall and treacherous conditions on the ridge slopes), the nest was nearly completed, with tufts of deer hair lining the nest basket - and no eggs.  Yesterday, the nest containing a full clutch of 6 eggs.  As ravens lay an egg a day on successive days, the first egg was laid between February 12 and February 18.  Over the course of the last ten years, the first egg that has been laid by these ravens has appeared in the nest between March 3 and March 15, with March 6-8 being the most usual period.  Egg-laying commenced this year a full two weeks "early", which is particularly interesting given the harsh winter weather we and the birds have been experiencing.  Reconstruction of the nest began this year on January 20 with one new stick being laid across the rock ledge.     

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