The COMMON RAVEN is a common resident of open country at all elevations throughout the state. There are ravens on the wild northwestern coast, atop the high Sierra Nevada, and widespread throughout the Mojave Desert. It is therefore interesting that ravens were once completely absent from coastal Monterey County and the Santa Lucia Mts. This topic is explored somewhat in the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Monterey County by Roberson & Tenney, eds. (1993). In the 1990s, however, an expanding Santa Cruz population spun several pairs to northern Monterey County (they nested near Elkhorn Slough in 2001) and other pairs appeared down the Big Sur coast. Some of them may have been vagrants in the corvid influx of 1996 but some of taken up residence. This change in distribution is dynamic and ongoing.
Except for this phenomena in Monterey County, all my California records have been of birds within their usual range. I list my "state bird" and some of the first records of MTY vagrants below:
11/4/67 Healdsburg SON my state birdSee the family page for county abbreviations. All photos & text © 2001 Don Roberson; all rights reserved.
10/9/96 Big Sur R. m. MTY 1 flew over mesa: details in my notes; this was first mid-Big Sur coast record
10/19/96 Jacks Peak MTY 1 flew over peak going SW: details in my notes; first record for the Mty Pen CBC-circle area
2/16/97 Marina dump MTY pair over Salinas R., heading W
2/24 & 4/26/97 Salinas R. mouth (at Hwy 1) MTY pair going up-river (probably same pair)
3/11/00 Moonglow Dairy MTY pair
12/17/01 Pt. Sur MTY pair at watertrough; photo’d
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