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Soaring Ravens

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Common Raven

By: Pat Coate

While in Canada last month I had several very fun encounters with a group of ravens. They hung out in the vicinity of the cottage where I was staying and seemed keenly aware of the comings and goings in the area. As I would head out for a walk with our dog, they would immediately make a noisy appearance. Then they would provide several minutes of entertainment, as they seemed to be just having a ball as they soared above us. They would chase each other, surf the wind currents, and ride a current seemingly to its peak like a cresting wave. The silhouette photos below capture some of their hijinks. My favorite is the second to last where I was able to catch a bit of their stunt pilot show, where they would actually do flips and briefly fly upside down.

Near the end of my visit, I heard a dog barking. Since the nearest neighbor is a couple miles away I went outside to investigate. Turns out it was one of these characters doing a very passable imitation. I had no idea ravens could be so boisterous and downright entertaining. Some internet research seems to indicate that this was a group of youngsters and the behavior I observed is not uncommon. Here’s hoping for an encore performance next year!

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Common Raven

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Acrobatic Ravens

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One response

  1. My favourite birds, the ones that will keep me company all this long Arctic winter, when I’ll have a couple of hundred around to entertain me. Their vocalizations are incredible, and every now and then I’ll hear something new, new and unusual that will make me appreciate them even more.

    28 October 2010 at 7:52 am

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