Common Raven: Corvus corax
The Common Raven is considered one of the most intelligent of avian species. It mates for life and is often seen soaring high in the sky, a magnificent flier. This is a resourceful and remarkable bird that learns new behavior in different situations. The raven is an active forager, scavenger, and hunter. Ravens have elaborate courtship flights with a great display of acrobatics and pair flying. The raven is a revered totem and spirit to many Native Americans.
Ravens may also be seen sliding down snow banks just for the fun of it! Although Ravens are not raptors, they think they are!
Zachariah was born in Maine in 2011 but fell from his nest soon thereafter, fracturing the radius and ulna bones in his wing. Avian Haven rescued and rehabilitated the young raven, but found that he was unable to fly. He spent his rehabilitation time with surrogate adult ravens and then came to Wind Over Wings in 2012. Zach quickly learned to step up on a glove and is enjoying his life in education. He stars in the “Bird Brains” program that features avian intelligence. They don’t get any smarter than this! Before too long Zach will be talking to us, and his first word will most likely be “Hello!”
Branwen (pronounced BRAHN wen) means “blessed raven” in Welsh mythology. Branwen is just a youngster and the newest member of the Wind Over Wings educational faculty. This lovely bird was brought to Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine, because she was exceedingly attached to people, causing concerns for her safety. She was placed with other ravens in the aviary, but Branwen consistently demonstrated that she was far more interested in humans. When a volunteer entered the aviary, it was Branwen who flew to them. Given this behavior, the possibility existed that the raven was human imprinted (raised by a person) and unable to survive in the wild. This is a very difficult call especially with crows and ravens. They are so intelligent and are excellent opportunists. If a kind person provides food, shelter and attention to a baby, the baby may identify with the human, and releasing a raven to the wild at this point would be dangerous for the bird. Not everyone wants a raven landing on their shoulder. So permits were approved by the state and federal governments, and Branwen was transferred to Wind Over Wings.
Presently Branwen shares her aviary with a delighted Zachariah. At this point Branwen is indicating that she is very comfortable with her beautiful male companion. We are suspending training with Branwen through the winter to better determine if she is actually human imprinted or was habituated by someone.