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10 Fascinating Facts About Ravens

Edgar Allan Poe knew what he was doing when he used the raven instead of some other bird to croak out “nevermore” in his famous poem. The raven has long been associated with death and dark omens, but the real bird is somewhat of a mystery. Unlike its smaller cousin the crow, not a lot has been written about this remarkable bird. Here are 10 fascinating facts about ravens. 1. When it comes to intelligence, these birds rate up there with chimpanzees and dolphins. If a raven knows another raven is watching it hide its food, it will pretend to put the food in one place while really hiding it in another. 2. In captivity, ravens can learn to talk better than some parrots. 3. Many European cultures took one look at this large black bird with an intense gaze and thought it was evil in the flesh … er, feather. 4. Cultures from Tibet to Greece have seen the raven as a messenger for the gods. 5. The Native Americans weren’t far off about the raven’s mischievous nature. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Related:  Ravens and Crows

8-Year-Old Girl Receives Gifts From The Crows She’s Been Feeding Since She Was 4 Every once in a while, Gabi Mann, an 8-year-old girl who lives in Seattle, gets a small, special gift delivered to her home. She saves every one she can because they’re from a very special group of friends – the local crow population, which brings her shiny trinkets as gifts in thanks for feeding them since she was 4. These ‘gifts’ consist of buttons, LEGO pieces, scraps of metal, and even a heart-shaped bead. Once, Gabi even got a piece of metal with the word “best” on it. They might not seem like much, but they are Gabi’s most valuable collection. More info: BBC When 8-year-old Gabi fed the crows in her neighborhood… …they began to thank her with gifts! These ‘gifts’ consist of buttons, LEGO pieces, scraps of metal, and even a heart-shaped bead. They bring anything shiny that would fit in their beaks Gabi has a collection of precious gifts and labels her favorites Once, Gabi even got a piece of metal with the word “best” on it.

How to Tell a Raven From a Crow This story comes to you through a partnership between Audubon and BirdNote, a show that airs daily on public radio stations nationwide. Go here to hear the podcast You’re outside, enjoying a sunny day when a shadow at your feet causes you to look up. A large, black bird flies over and lands in a nearby tree. You wonder: is that a crow or a raven? These two species, common ravens and American crows, overlap widely throughout North America, and they look quite similar. You probably know that ravens are larger, the size of a red-tailed hawk. Listen closely to the birds’ calls. We’re back looking up at that tree. That’s a raven. Adapted by Dennis Paulson from a script written by Frances Wood.

The Secret Lives of Tool-Wielding Crows What's the best way to find out what crows living in the South Pacific really do when people aren't watching? Equip them with mini-cameras and have them make their own home-, er, nest-movies, of course. University of Oxford zoologists are hoping that this hands-off approach to studying New Caledonian crows—aka Corvus moneduloides—will lead to a wealth of information about these infamous aviators, known to be one of the few nonhuman species to use tools to accomplish daily tasks. These birds are particularly difficult to observe in their natural habitat, because they are sensitive to human disturbance and live in forested, mountainous areas of New Caledonia—a Pacific island east of Australia, roughly the size of New Jersey—where visibility is limited. "The use of tools is one of the defining criteria for humans," says Christian Rutz, a postdoc candidate at Oxford's Behavioral Ecology Research Group, who conducted the study.

samselcrows NO ONE TALKS TO CROWS by Lynn Samsel c. 2005 ============================= No one I know talks to crows the way I do. Probably no one listens to them either. Perhaps, somewhere else, someone I don't know does converse with the corvids. But nobody else I know sets out peanut butter to catch their attention, or freezes in wonder when one sets its heavy-body fuselage down on the deck. Compared to the flirting, flitting finches, those tiny flying thistle-seeking missiles, Crow is the original wide-body, L-1011 decked in black. crow the crow1

the crow Crow Brings the Daylight: From Canadian folklore at Americanfolklore An Inuit Myth retold by S. Long, long ago, when the world was still new, the Inuit lived in darkness in their home in the fastness of the north. Yet many of the younger folk were fascinated by the story of the light that gilded the lands to the south. "Imagine how far and how long we could hunt," they told one another. "Yes, and see the polar bear before it attacks," others agreed. Soon the yearning for daylight was so strong that the Inuit people begged Crow to bring it to them. Crow flew for many miles through the endless dark of the north. Crow strained his wings and flew with all his might. Eventually Crow lowered his gaze and realized that he was near a village that lay beside a wide river. It was warm and cozy inside the lodge. "Why are you crying?" Inside the little boy's ear, Crow whispered: "You want to play with a ball of daylight." The chief sent his daughter to the glowing box in the corner. Then Crow scratched the inside of his ear again and the little boy gasped and cried.