30 May 2015
I am indebted to my good friend Jim Burrell for advising me of the location of a nest of Common Raven Corvus corax in Waterloo County. This is the southernmost nest I have ever witnessed in the Province of Ontario, and it appears that this species is recolonizing its former range, from which it had been extirpated. Jim was also aware of a second successful breeding attempt in nearby Wellington County, at Glen Allan.
The nest that Miriam and I visited was on the silo of a farm at 5434 Schummer Line, deep in the heart of Mennonite country.
Initially we parked on the side of the road (easy to do, a relatively quiet rural road) and started to observe and take pictures from there. Then the owner of the farm, who was cutting his grass, came out to talk to us and invited us to drive into the farm and park much closer so that we would be able to get better pictures.
This very gracious, kind man is Norm Kuepfer, a spry eighty-six year old.
I told him that I would be blogging about these birds and sought his consent to publish images of both him and his farm, to which he readily agreed. Norm does not have a computer, but has a son who does, so he will be able to see this report on the remarkable success that occurred on his silo.
There were three young birds in the nest, very obviously ready to fledge. The parents would wheel by them, causing the young birds to become agitated and beg for food, but none was delivered. I am sure that the adults were attempting to coax their offspring from the nest.
And it didn't take long! Jim called me yesterday to let me know that the three young birds had vacated the nest.
May they live long and prosper.
Thank you Jim, and thank you Norm, for allowing us to take part in this truly remarkable event; perhaps the most significant birding adventure of the year.