Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Ravens and Wolves

a feral synergy...

Researcher Bernd Heinrich writes: "Ravens associate with any animals that kill large game - polar bears, grizzlies, wolves, coyotes, killer whales, and humans." These birds travel with caribou on their migration, and scavenge remains after wolves have made their kills. The bill of the Common Raven can't cut into a carcass, so a large carnivore must tear through the tough hide first.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Ravens and Wolves

Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote!
[Common Raven calls –an assortment of call types through the script]
The raven – its voice is unmistakable [Common Raven calls] – held a prominent place in the myths of many cultures, from the Vikings to the tribes of the Northwest Coast, across the entire Northern Hemisphere. Today, ravens are the fascinating subjects of scientific study. [Common Raven calls]
Raven researcher Bernd Heinrich writes: “Ravens associate with any animals that kill large game – polar bears, grizzlies, wolves, coyotes, killer whales, and humans. … In the Arctic, … native peoples know when the caribou arrive on their migrations, by the announcements of ravens who travel with them and feed on the kills of the wolves along the flanks of the herds.”* [Gray Wolves howling]
Ravens quickly took advantage of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the 1990s, joining them to scavenge at kills. Curiously, ravens seemed to avoid animal carcasses when wolves were absent. One explanation is that the raven’s bill can’t cut into a carcass; a large carnivore must tear through the tough hide first. Some believe the bond between ravens and wolves runs deeper. Perhaps ravens even help lead wolves to their prey. [Common Raven calls]
Learn more about ravens at BirdNote.org. I’m Michael Stein.
###
Common Raven audio provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.
Gray Wolves howling recorded by John Kessler, Kessler Productions
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org     October 2012     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#102406CORA4KPLU                  CORA-04b

* (Heinrich 1989: 21) [final Heinrich quotation cited in Buckles, 2000]
References:
Heinrich, Bernd. Ravens in Winter. New York: Summit Books, 1989.
Rozell, Ned. “Are Ravens Responsible for Wolf Packs?” Alaska Science Forum, June 10, 2004; Article #1702.
Buckles, Julie. Book review of Bernd Heinrich’s The Mind of the Raven. Genome News Network, June 16, 2000.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Related topics:

Related field notes:

Home
Shows
Blog
Galleries
More