Liam McGranaghan and his environmental science students at Loudoun Valley High School have been keeping special watch over the Ravens nesting on the water tower. He sent over this great update on Friday which I will share with you now but there was also a turn of events yesterday and I’ll share that in my next posting:
Raven: About Those Young
Good news. After a confusing misstep over Spring Break where workers climbed the Purcellville water tower and worked next to the nest for several hours preventing the parents from keeping the babies warm, I’m happy to announce that we have some very active young on the nest.
For the past four weeks my students and I have been observing the parents at the tower. At first, the parents would arrive to their nest only to quickly leave without appearing to bring anything.
As time went on we noticed that the parents lingered longer (male or female we were not sure, as they both look alike) and then once in a while we though we heard soft calls emanating from the nest that sounded vaguely similar to young crows. It took a couple of days for us to realize that we had at least one young raven and possible two. However, during the following two weeks and even of using a spotting scope, we could never see the young.
The students were ecstatic and marveled, that in spite of the adverse conditions of cold weather and disturbance, the eggs had managed to survive and hatch.
Even more amazing was the speed at which the young were growing, they seemed to be on some type of growth stimulant with black feathers sprouting everywhere. The parents also noticed the change and were constantly bringing them food.
Today, while observing the nest, we were in for one more big surprise, when the parent showed up with food, a fourth raven chick appeared on the nest! We couldn’t believe our eyes! How could all four young possibly fit in the nest and more importantly is how did we miss seeing the fourth one for weeks?
I can say my students are all feeling a little proud, and they are looking forward to seeing the young ravens fledge and flying about our school and neighborhood.
The only question now – what will we name them?