Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Why is this Common Raven on a parking garage in the middle of Richmond? There are tens of thousands of Northwestern Crows in this city, but urban ravens are rare, and tend to hang out near scraps of big-tree forest – not next to the Richmond Centre Mall, and City Hall, the steel-glass boxy building in the background. This is one of the bleakest parts of the city, biotically speaking.

I saw – first heard – this bird yesterday as we were about to leave the mall. The kids were strapped into their seats; the key was in the ignition. We were parked behind Sears, just north of the multi-level parkade on which the bird is perched, squawking.

“Hey, a Raven.”

A long way away. Mr. Hesitation has 10X digital zoom, which is why you can see that there really is a bird, and likely a raven, in these shots. I wanted to jog over for a closer look.

“What are we waiting for? What’s Daddy doing now?”

I was triple-teamed with impatience. No time for impromptu zoology. Mr. H squeezed out a few more pictures, and that’s all I got. That, and a bunch of questions:

Is it here often? Why does the ledge where it is perched look sullied and worn? Who sullied and wore it?

Why does the bird look sullied and worn? Is it molting? If so, from what to what? Is this a young of the year? If so, is it from a nearby nest (which would be a worthy zoological note)?

Why the heck did I even notice it? I don’t have time to go back and suss this out further. Why can’t I turn it off?

City Hall employees: If you run out of things to do, how about going up to the 8th floor and looking down on the Sears parkade. Let me know if you see ravens, and if so, let me know what they’re doing. Thanks.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I work in Richmond, on River Road near Cambie. Next time I go to Richmond Ctr, I will keep my eye out for him! What a Weirdo that Raven is! Doesn't he know that only Crows and Seaguls stomp in that territory?! :)