Crow’s nesting on Adenia

The crow's nest in the crow's nest of the Adenia.

A CROW has taken up residence on board one of the boats in the Shetland pelagic fleet, appropriately enough in the crow’s nest.

The crew of the Adenia noticed an assemblage of twigs and rope at the top of the forward mast not long after they tied up at the new Holmsgarth North Jetty in Lerwick Harbour in April.


The nest now has four eggs in it and the bird can be seen coming and going to tend to them.

Adenia skipper George William Anderson said: “We first noticed some twigs up there and on the deck.

“Then we saw the crow going back and fore. It has been feeding on mussels because some shells have fallen from up on the mast.

“It’ll likely not be long before the eggs will hatch. Who says man and nature can’t get along?”

Naval legend suggests that the term crow’s nest has Viking origins. Viking sailors were said to carry crows or ravens in a cage at the top of the mast, releasing them when visibility was poor and following them as they made for land.

However, it is more likely to derive from a barrel-shaped platform resembling a crow’s next in a tree that was made in 1807 by the explorer William Scoresby to protect his lookout.

It’s not the Adenia crew’s first brush with wildlife on board. Last summer when she was berthed at Victoria Pier an otter came aboard via the gangplank and spent a few hours looking around before departing.