[CT Birds] Common Ravens in Connecticut

Stephen Broker LS.BROKER at COX.NET
Wed Sep 17 11:31:25 EDT 2014

Mark T. in Windsor,

Do enjoy your birding in Connecticut while visiting here.  As the fall migration progresses, these are exciting times for Connecticut birders.

You wrote of an observation of Common Raven being harassed by a Red-shouldered Hawk and Blue Jays in Windsor.  While it's true that in the 1980s one pretty much had to travel to northwestern or northeastern Connecticut in order to see ravens, the situation has changed dramatically in the past 20 or so years.  In south-central Connecticut, ravens began nesting at Mount Carmel/Sleeping Giant State Park (Hamden) by ca. 1998 (Jim Zipp discovery).  By 2002, ravens had begun nesting 12 miles further south at West Rock Ridge State Park (Woodbridge), very near the Long Island coast.  Raven pairs have nested successfully both at Sleeping Giant and at West Rock most years since then, fledging from 3 to 5 young from each trap rock ridge nest site.

At this COA website, you can reference Tom Baptist's excellent article, "Common Raven in Connecticut," published in The Connecticut Warbler, 11(3):  73-78 (July 1991).  This article reviews the known history of Common Ravens in the state to 1990/91.  Also, my article, "Common Raven Breeding at West Rock Ridge During 2003" in TCW 24(3):  74-95 (July 2004) may be of interest.  Others can comment on the present distribution of ravens in the southeastern region of Connecticut.  The Summer Bird Count articles give a fine indication of raven occurrences in the breeding season.  When we get our second Connecticut Breeding Bird Atlas underway some time in the not-too-distant future, we should have a comprehensive view of the full extent to which ravens are occupying the state.

Steve Broker

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