Smart Black Birds On Camera

Raven on nest at Wellesley College (screenshot from Wellesley College ravencam)

Tired of being outdone by celebrity bald eagles and peregrine falcons, ravens have decided to get into the act.

Last October a pair of common ravens chose Wellesley College as the smart place to be.  Over the winter they scoped out the campus and evaluated future nest sites.  By March it was evident they'd made a wise choice when they built their nest on a high fire escape at the Science Center.  Their platform is enclosed by glass on three sides so they have great views and less wind.

They also have electricity, an Internet connection and night lights -- perfect for a webcam -- so Pauline and Henry are now celebrities.

Named for the founders of Wellesley College, Pauline and Henry's choice probably shocked the local raven population.  "What were you thinking!? Humans are unpredictably dangerous!  We never nest that close to them."  But their unique choice has given them shelter while we get a window on their world.

Pauline laid two eggs in March, one hatched in early April, and now their nestling is growing every day.  Unlike peregrine falcon chicks, raven babies are not cute, fluffy and white.  Instead they're born naked and awkward with a very large mouth.  When the parents come to the nest "the mouth" opens to show off its red interior.  In the weeks ahead the mouth will stay red but the body will transform into a feathered juvenile raven, one of the smartest birds on earth.

Smartly clothed in black, Pauline and Henry are happy to share their lives with you on camera.  Click here or on the screenshot above to watch them online.


(screenshot from the Wellesley College ravencam)

p.s. When ravens blink their nictitating membranes, their eyes look white.  Very cool!

4 thoughts on “Smart Black Birds On Camera

  1. Kate thanks for Raven info/link. You can’t miss their mouth. They made a heavy duty nest. I only saw one chick as it stood up and opened its mouth. They blend into the nest so well maybe the other is there. I just saw a group of Vultures float by back and forth here in Wheeling on the Ohio River in our back yard. They glide down into the valley from high ridge.What a sight. I saw that video of a pair of Vultures nest in a barn in Missouri a few years ago put on youtube recently they make some funny noises. Are there any other vulture cams around?

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