NATURE’s Ravens explores how these all-black creatures acquired their dual and contradictory images — as birds of both life and death.
Long recognized as one of the most intelligent birds, the raven also has a less than savory image throughout history as a scavenger that does not discriminate between humans and animals.
Ingenious and versatile, ravens are members of the crow family, which includes jays and magpies. They are found everywhere in the northern hemisphere and adapt to very different terrain, from deserts to mountains — a feat requiring high intelligence.
They learn to find food even in the harshest conditions, such as the dead of winter in Yellowstone National Park. As scavengers, ravens know how and when to take advantage of other animals to help them cadge a meal they couldn’t otherwise reach. In Yellowstone, bison that don’t survive the harsh winter attract coyotes, whose sharp teeth and strong jaws rip open the tough, frozen hides — making the meat accessible to watchful ravens. They also have been seen following wild wolf packs to a kill; some stories even have ravens flying ahead of the wolves to lead them to prey.
To order a copy of Ravens, please visit the NATURE Shop.
Online content for Ravens was originally published December 2001.
Production Credits Print
Post Production Manager
ROSE & LLOYD BUCK
Songs Written and Performed by
NEIL AND DANIEL BROWN
CITY OF ELY, MINNESOTA
THE WELSH MOUNTAIN ZOO
HM TOWER OF LONDON
MENDIP GLIDING CLUB, SOMERSET
COUNTRYSIDE COUNCIL FOR WALES
GLENGOULANDIE DEER FARM
KONRAD LORENZ RESEARCH STATION
TICKENHAM GOLF COURSE
WEALD AND DOWNLAND MUSEUM
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
BORROR LAB OF BIOACOUSTICS
SKIDEGATE & OLD MASSETT
BAND COUNCILS OF THE HAIDA NATION
All sequences in this program, whether filmed or under controlled conditions, represent authentic behavior
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN
Executive In Charge
A Co-production of Partridge Films and Thirteen/WNET New York
This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.
© 2006 Educational Broadcasting Corporation All rights reserved.
DANIEL B. GREENBERG
About the Writer
Jason Kleinman is an Internet consultant and freelance writer living in New York City. He has written extensively about the natural sciences, politics, and popular culture.
Photos: © EBC
Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York’s Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.