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Tony Angell on the Raven

Do they share jokes?
© Tony Angell View Large

Tony Angell reflects: "It's a cloudless summer day as I listen to ravens behind me in the woods. There's an endless repertoire of croaks, krawks, barks, yelps, and yodels. Other ravens across the bay respond in kind, and I imagine that this is a day of poetry and perhaps a few jokes shared between clans of these birds." There's more to learn at TonyAngell.net.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Reflecting Upon Ravens
An interview with Tony Angell

This is BirdNote!

[Croak, krawks…of ravens]

Come along, as Tony Angell, author of the book “Puget Sound — Through An Artist’s Eye” reflects upon ravens. 

It’s a cloudless summer day as I listen to ravens behind me in the woods.  There’s an endless repertoire of croaks, krawks, barks, yelps, and yodels.  Other ravens across the bay respond in kind, and I imagine that this is a day of poetry and perhaps a few jokes shared between clans of these birds.

My imagination really runs with that, because as I think about it, it sounds very much like a conversation you might have with somebody across a short distance, talking about one thing or another and then getting a response back from them. In the case of ravens, their voices carry a great distance. Their hearing is very acute. They can pick up these sounds very quickly. [raven krawks] And of course, going over the surface of water, the sound is going to be tranported pretty directly as well.
[raven krawks] So, again, these birds have far more going on than we really can account for scientifically, and we're just beginning to probe around the edges of their communication and language. So, the fact that someday we might find that they have a poetry of their own, that they might have a sense of humor ... M.m.m... I don't know that it would surprise me. [raven krawks]

For BirdNote, I'm Mary McCann.

###

Calls of the Common Raven provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by R.S. Little
Ambient recorded on Lopez Island by C. Peterson
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org     July 2012/2017/2020     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# angelltCORA-01-2010-02-23  angelltCORA-01

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