Alaska: Mated pair of Raven’s loving and grooming on each other.

Ravens are seen as tricksters in many traditions. But Common Ravens have a softer side. During courtship, a pair will often sit side by side, sometimes preening each other’s feathers. And during that ritual, one or both may make soft warbling sounds. Raven nestlings sometimes make this same sound after they’ve been fed. Compared to the usual raucous raven calls, this one is soothing. It’s called a comfort sound.

Ravens mate for life, which can sometimes last for more than thirty years. They chose their partners carefully, because the male raven must be a clever scavenger to provide for his mate and young. When young ravens are born, they stay with their parents for about a year until they learn social behavior and sneaky hunting habits from their parents.

Sometimes a third raven helps out a young couple with gathering food and showing the young juveniles the ropes. Ravens build their nests out of mud, twigs, fur, and feathers, usually on cliffs or in trees. Sometimes they use tall manmade perches on roofs and towers for homes.

They usually collect in clans, but will fly for long distances in pairs or alone to find food.


According to most Native Alaskan traditions, the raven was the creator of life on the world. He formed the trees and the earth, and taught the first humans to hunt. The Trickster raven stole the Box of Daylight and placed the sun and the moon in the sky.

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