When our dad was a teenager, he was befriended by a raven, and he’d tell us stories about the bird, and how smart he was, figuring out how to open food containers and imitate sounds. We’re ashamed to admit that we listened to his stories with a skeptical ear, doubting that a bird could be so smart. Now we know we were wrong, with the proof in this remarkable discussion of the critters uncanny abilities.
The talk by John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington and author of In the Company of Crows and Ravens, was given on the occasion of the dedication of a raven sculpture on the campus of the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.
Humans and corvids, it seems, coevolved, social animals whose behaviors interacted in peculiar ways. Not only are crows and ravens capable of making tools, but they’re playful and endowed with real insight.
From the University:
What do Van Gogh, Shakespeare, the Hopi and Kayukon People, Mark Twain, and the rock band The Counting Crows have in common? They all draw inspiration from some of our most common, but least understood birds: the crow and the raven. Dr. John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, leads us on an investigation of the inspiration of ravens on people and our effects on these adaptable birds.