Friday, May 27, 2016

A Busy Raven and More at the Marsh

As promised, here are the rest of my sights from Tuesday afternoon's visit to the Arcata Marsh. The Pacific Tree Frogs were my favorite part of the trip, but -- as usual -- there were lots of other cool creatures out and about as well!

A Common Raven was actively working close to the ground in one part of the marsh, and calling back and forth with its partner in a nearby tree:

I remain very impressed by these imposing birds:

I have to assume that this raven and its partner were in the process of building a nest, since I can't think of any other reason why this bird would have been carrying around what looks like mud in its beak (which it would swallow and bring back up again periodically):

This raven was also being either very industrious or very destructive; I watched it rip apart branches and lichen on a small tree -- keeping up a stream of calls the whole time -- but it didn't seem to actually keep any of this material. Here's a video of this raven at work (?):

And here's a second video of this raven calling after it moved to another tree; I'm always happy for the chance to admire Common Ravens, and I hope I wasn't bothering this bird too much by hanging around:

Small lovely butterflies (some crescent species, I think) were fluttering around near the bay:

Yarrow blossoms were popular feeding stations:

I've noticed small holes in the mud before, but this was the first time I saw the little crabs (so many crabs!) that went with them:

A few Bonaparte's Gulls were visiting the marsh on their way north; they looked like they were very much in need of a molt:

A Song Sparrow was digging through cattail fluff and making an adorable mess:

I thought this little bird was after the fluff for nesting material, but it didn't end up carrying much of the stuff away. Perhaps it was finding bugs (or seeds) instead? Either way, playing in cattail fluff looks like fun. Here's a video of this resourceful sparrow:

As of today, we have exactly one month left before the move. One more month in which to experience as much of northern California's amazing nature as I can! Let's do it!


  1. I think that raven was just in a bad mood and was throwing a hissy fit! Loved the little crabs!

    1. Haha, I think that sounds about right for the raven!

  2. what a fabulous post! We love the ravens too and appreciate the great videos.