I’ve always loved ravens. They are smart, funny, graceful, and curious. Over the years I’ve seen them tease dogs, break into garbage cans, fly through forests, commute to and from work every day, and have elaborate conversations. They have such personality, and I find them fascinating. We see them all year round, but especially in the winter when they stay in town for the easy pickings. They may not look majestic sitting on top of light posts, but they are scrappy survivors.
Ravens are in all parts of Alaska, and in many other places too. They can adapt to different climates and food sources. And their social lives are similar to ours. They live in groups, with hierarchies and specialized roles. They mourn for their dead and communicate with various sounds and calls.
When I was growing up, I learned many of the legends about Raven, like how he stole the sun and moon, and how he made the Milky Way. They all made sense to me. I still talk to ravens when I see them—just in case one of them is Raven.
Recently, I was sent a link on Facebook that explains how ravens learn dynamics of groups other than their own. As the title says, “Ravens have social abilities previously only seen in humans.”