25 May 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Huginn and Muninn

Saturday, May 4th, 2013
King of the mountain (Savannah sparrow), Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 04 May 2013.

King of the mountain (Savannah sparrow).

This early, cool, sunny morning, as Jack and I started through the lower woods of the Beech Hill Trail, I spied a large dark bird approaching from the east. It flew just above the canopy. As it drew near, I noticed it was black and figured it for a raven, and as it flapped over our heads I heard its soft, slow wingbeats and saw its wedge-shaped tail.

Trout lily, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 04 May 2013.

Trout lily.

A few minutes later, it flew over again from the other direction—or another raven did—also low above the canopy. And several minutes after that, as I attempted (unsuccessfully) a photo of a black-and-white warbler, raven made another pass.

Three visits by a raven. I began to wonder about omens.

No new birds today. Most of my attention was on the handful of black-and-whites and my failed attempts at photographing them. But later, from the summit, I noticed a pair of ravens soaring down the southeastern slope, hardly flapping their wings at all, at last stirring up a couple frantic crows as they disappeared in the trees. I thought of them as Odin’s birds, Huginn and Munnin, (Thought and Memory).

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 6:30 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Osprey* (v)
2. White-breasted nuthatch (v)
3. Eastern phoebe
4. Black-capped chickadee
5. American robin
6. Hairy woodpecker (v)
7. House finch**
8. Eastern towhee
9. Tufted titmouse** (v)
10. American crow*
11. Blue jay (v)
12. Common raven
13. Herring gull*
14. American goldfinch (v)
15. Black-and-white warbler
16. Northern flicker (v)
17. Blue-headed vireo (v)
18. Northern cardinal**
19. Song sparrow**
20. Savannah sparrow
21. Field sparrow (v)
22. Chipping sparrow (v)
23. Mourning dove* (v)
24. Brown-headed cowbird (v)
25. Yellow-rumped warbler
26. Turkey vulture
27. Hermit thrush
28. Black-throated green warbler (v)


29. House sparrow
30. European starling

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

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One Response to “Huginn and Muninn”

  1. […] photograph and text by Brian Willson […]

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Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson

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