Approach • Attack • Circle Back I came upon this scene in Southern California ... a Common Raven perched on a roof, sustaining repeated mobbing attacks by a Northern Mockingbird. Likely, the raven got a bit too close to the mockingbird's nest. Whenever I come upon these mobbing scenarios, the intruder appears unaffected by the attacks, even as they're getting grazed by a beak or claw. That stoicism usually gives way to annoyance, maybe [...]
Seattle crows are among the most famous of modern crows, owing to studies by John Marzluff which are featured in A Murder of Crows. This PBS Nature episode looks at Marzluff's University of Washington (UW) research projects and the crows' ability to recognize and remember human faces. I've seen a few UW-banded crows around town, but they're usually wheels up with a Cheeto before I can pull out my camera. The other day, I saw [...]
I saw a huge group of crows scrounging for grubs and snacks in a vacant field near the Seattle waterfront. Since it was raining when I left home, I packed nothing but my rain gear and a point-and-shoot ... just in case. I guess I'm hard-headed because I should have learned by now that Seattle weather an hour from now bears no resemblance to the weather in the here and now. And this is why: [...]
When I photographed this Common Raven, wind surfing off Ocean Beach in San Francisco, I didn't realize that new life would continually germinate from this one photo ... through my Creative Commons license and into the public domain by way of sketches, artwork composites and collages. I'm always delighted when an image I've licensed under CC finds artistic reinterpretation. It's one of the reasons I apply a Creative Commons license on some of my Flickr [...]
There's no lack of courage among the black birds. (Exhibit B: the eagle/crow face off I photographed last October.) I joke that Bald Eagles in Seattle are never without a personal entourage, usually crows and gulls. In this particular altercation, a Red-winged Blackbird joined the squadron as the eagle flew over Union Bay Natural Area (Montlake Fill) in the U District. The mobbing was in response to the Bald Eagle's unsuccessful dive on ducks below. [...]
My thanks to Lyanda Lynn Haupt for the book that reminded me to honor my original inspiration: the crow. It's because of a crow that I became who I am. My mother arrived home one day with a juvenile crow in a box. I was just a kid, fourteen or so. Mom was dropping my younger brother at school, when across the playing field, she saw two dogs nearly ripping the poor fledgling in two. [...]
. . . when a Flickr comment captures an image better than you did . . . I shot this photo at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, during a break in one of last winter's storms. The winds buffeted the bluffs so hard, the ravens were flinging themselves into the headwinds, stationary -- suspended in space with just a few navigational tweaks of feathers. They'd land back on the bluffs and start the process all [...]
This Scrub Jay came to us as a tame and inquisitive interloper. He landed on the bannister, then sat and looked in our kitchen window all morning. He'd obviously done this before. But ... he'd landed at a kitchen fresh out of peanuts. He gave up. True to jay form (persistence and sweat), he showed up again the next day. And this time, I had the goods. He learned in a single day that his [...]
With onshore winds, Ocean Beach is my favorite place to photograph ravens. Along the Great Highway, these feathered balls of onyx launch into the wind like superheroes, hovering over the beach below with tails trailing like capes. I had some time to kill after an appointment in the Sunset. I grabbed my camera and headed to a drizzly beach -- uncommonly drizzly and cold in May, even for San Francisco. I saw just [...]
Steve Borichevsky's blog, Shooting My Universe, is one I've been following for a time. It's one photographer's view of Cape Ann, Massachusetts (and beyond). His latest post -- The Crow -- inspired today's cross-link.
The biggest bennie of attaching a Creative Commons license to your work is the unanticipated adaptation of that work in a share-alike universe. What? That is to say, I love the chain reaction that ensues from a single act of licensing -- seeing the places your work travels, usually with proper attribution and adherence to the license. One of the reasons I post some of my images under a Creative Commons license (Flickr) is to [...]
I took this shot the day after Thanksgiving -- just getting around to posting it. The 25-foot swells off Ocean Beach were camera worthy. But I found myself swiveling with lens toward the cliff's edge, where ravens were striking these comical poses in the headwinds. I captured several such raven moments, but this was my favorite -- caped crusader in the clouds.