Ravens in the nest

I have a fondness for ravens (Corvus corax), even if they are ravenous egg thieves and chick killers. Everyone has to survive somehow.

Three weeks ago I was alerted to the existence of an unusually accessible ravens’ nest. The chicks were more or less naked at this point, but too large to be newly hatched. I’m guessing they might be between 1 and 2 weeks out of the egg at this point. It was a cold day and they didn’t look very comfortable, huddled together. We stayed just long enough to snap some photos, and then left so the parents could return to keep them warm. Just look at the architecture of that nest!

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Last weekend I returned and all the chicks were still there, but had lost most of their baby down and grown considerably – to the point of spilling out of the nest. The nest was an unholy mess at this point, not surprising since five rapidly growing chicks have been using it as a feeding station, trash heap and a toilet for three weeks:

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Up close:

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