Once common on the Atlantic Coast, Common Ravens became rare, as human activity grew more obtrusive through the 1900s. But something changed around the dawn of the 21st century. The ravens came back. Ravens now patrol parking lots in New Jersey to seize the choicest trash, dodge speeding cars on busy turnpikes to scavenge road kill, and playfully terrorize lapdogs in suburban back yards. They have even colonized Manhattan, with their acrobatic flight and coarse, cheerful calls. Sometimes the wild can come back.
This story was produced with support from the Bobolink Foundation.
Written by Rick Wright
This is BirdNote.
[Common Raven ML 107326, 00:07 ff]
[Common Raven ML 107326, 00:26 ff]
Ravens are common in much of western and northern North America. They were common, too, when European settlers arrived on the Atlantic Coast. But the species gradually died out, as human activity grew more obtrusive. And through most of the 1900s, ravens were relatively rare in the East. Their raucous croaks and rattles and toots could be heard only in the wildest parts of the Appalachians.
[Common Raven ML 62605, 1:31 ff]
But something changed around the dawn of the 21st century. The ravens came back — first to the reforested hills, then to the wooded suburbs, and now to the steel and concrete of some of our biggest cities.
[Common Raven ML 63941, 2:19 ff]
Ravens patrol the parking lots of grocery stores in New Jersey, waddling through the hordes of gulls and crows to seize the choicest trash. They dodge speeding cars on busy turnpikes to scavenge road kill from the median and the shoulders, and playfully terrorize lapdogs in suburban back yards.
[Common Raven ML 71230, 00:44 ff]
Ravens have even colonized the manmade canyons of Manhattan, where their acrobatic flight and coarse, cheerful calls can make even the most hardened city-dweller look up in awe. And remember, gratefully, that sometimes the wild can come back.
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Common Raven  by Wilbur L. Hershberger; Common Raven  by William W.H. Gunn; Common Raven  by Donald J. Kerr; Common Raven  by Arnoud B. van den Berg.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
© 2017 Tune In to Nature.org May 2017/2019 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# CORA-09-2017-05-26 CORA-09