Ravens 7-year reign conquered by owl


David Ng

Since early February, “Bad Bunny” the horned owl has taken over the previous raven duo’s nest.

Abby Lincks, Editor

Seven years into their prolonged stay, raven couple “Rikii” and husband “Juan” have been usurped by local, great horned owl, “Bad Bunny.”

After the 1300 wing was added onto campus, the duo built a nest underneath one of the awnings. They slept, ate and had little eggs in the nest. That is until early February, when “Bad Bunny” flew in and took over the nest, forcing the ravens to find a new home.

“The owl took residence and it was this big drama between the owl and the ravens,” Dean of Instruction Christa Thompson-Martin said. “The owl is a bigger predator, so the owl won.”

The ravens have been seen around campus, specifically the courtyard by Thompson-Martin, but have yet to find a new, permanent home. 

“The ravens come frequently to check on their nest,” Spanish II teacher Elda Acevedo-Estefanía said. “They sometimes confront the owl.”

On Acevedo-Estefanía’s Instagram account (@profeacevedotx), she has posted numerous videos of raven versus owl confrontations (click here: Owl vs. Raven video link). According to her, in one video, the ravens are looking at the owl from afar, seemingly plotting its demise. 

“Last year after Rikii and Juan had their babies, I created a short telenovela with a compilation of videos, using the Spanish grammar we learned in class,” Acevedo-Estefanía said. “In the video, it appears as if Rikii is not happy with Juan, but he keeps trying to get her attention. At the end, Juan gets in Rikii’s good graces and they kiss.”

Students and staff have had a lot of fun keeping up with raven versus owl drama, keeping a keen eye on the status of the nest day by day. 

“Having these creatures outside my window has been magical,” Acevedo-Estefanía said. “I love that, since ravens mate for life, it’s actually the same couple year after year to have their babies right outside our Spanish classroom.”

According to Thompson-Martin and her friend David Ng, who’s a “bird expert,” it’s a common occurrence that an owl will take over a premade nest. The owl will most likely reside in the nest whilst having babies and then depart. 

Spanish II teacher, Elda Acevedo-Estefanía, claims this year’s students named the owl “Bad Bunny” after popular Puerto Rican artist who has become famous worldwide. (David Ng)

“I don’t know if the ravens will come back because then it will smell like owl and I don’t know what they’ll think about that,” Thompson-Martin said. “My prediction is that the ravens will have to find a new nesting spot that they haven’t lost to the owl this year.”

Another avid watcher of the birds, ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher Mima Nazarene, is rooting for the owl, claiming that the nest takeover may teach us an important lesson. 

“We must learn from the ravens that practiced the Japanese mantra: the art of moving on, ‘Ganbatte,’” Nazarene said. “They move on and build another nest. What an inspiring lesson, when they lost their precious home of seven years, they tried to get it back but to no avail, so they move on.”

Owls can symbolize inner wisdom, change, transformation, intuitive development, good luck and self-actualization, according to cultural symbolism expert Charlotte Kirsten. 

“I am hoping all of us will learn from the raven not to give up, but to move on,” Nazarene said. “The owl is my spirit animal according to the Native American horoscope, so that’s a great omen for me to have the owl so close to my class.”

According to Thompson-Martin, it’s currently illegal to mess with a nest that’s in progress. So, the school administration intends to avoid direct contact with the birds.

Teachers voted for which bird(s) they were rooting for, in particular. With 129 responses, the ravens were the ultimate winner. (Abby Lincks)

“The owl has every right to be there,” Thompson-Martin said. “It’s where the ravens were and it’s a bummer because I’ve missed my ravens, but the owl is cool too.”

Raven couple “Rikkii” and “Juan” spy on owl “Bad Bunny.” (Elda Acevedo-Estefanía)