Nest Watch in New Orleans, LA
All day, I’ve been observing, editing and lounging around outside in the shade, while listening to the OM-NOM-NOM happy noises of baby crows being fed every 15 minutes. It’s the best sound!
Day 2 of Nest Watch is turning out to be exactly what I wanted.
I now have a decent sense of when there is light on the nest – 11:30-1pm, while the sun is still on the clear side of the trees. After that, all the trees on the west side of the nest offer delicious shade for the young ones, protecting them from overheating as spring ramps into summer in the south. Mama and Papa sure seem like experienced nest-builders, choosing such a well-shaded, visually obstructed spot.
The best part of understanding when there is light on the nest is now I can focus my time, shooting only when conditions are going to yield reasonable photos. One of the trickiest parts of wildlife photography is throttling yourself to aim for optimal light, instead of winding up with hundreds of low-light, poor quality shots. With my idea location and best times of day mapped out, I can shoot when it’s ideal and then just ogle the environment and observe behavior and other aspects of Growing Up Crow.
Location, Location, Location
For instance, I think I figured out why they chose this nest location. Our friends’ neighbor is ripping up trees, bushes and undergrowth all over his property (yes, it’s as unsightly as it sounds). I had thought the upheaval and noise of heavy equipment would be a deterrent, but as I sat observing today, I noticed the opposite. The adults seemed to head directly for where he had last been….and then it dawned on me – this guys is turning up mounds of earth, filled with worms and bugs. It’s like a crow buffet perfect for feeding five hungry babies every 15 minutes!
I also set up my tripod and threw my 1.4x extender on the camera to get some video of feeding – look at those 5 hungry mouths!
Bobble-heads to Blue-eyed Babies
The other thing that stood out today was that a few of the babies are already showing more strength, often holding up their heads to look around and show the Feed Me face between feedings when there were no adults around. It will be fun to see these little aliens get stronger each day and begin to resemble the birds they will be…I’m jonesing to see tiny wings developing pin-feathers!