10 Incredible Facts About Ravens

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8. They Can Talk

Though ravens may seem like they’re making a series of random “kraas,” their varied sounds are believed to contain meaning. In the wild, ravens communicate with each other through a wide range of vocalizations. They can express emotions such as tenderness, happiness, anger, and surprise.

They can also alert each other to danger by clucking like hens and make trill sounds when ready for battle. They have a specific “haaa” sound that they use for meat. Within their own social groups, they have been shown to have their own dialects.

In captivity, ravens can learn to talk better than a lot of parrots can. Human speech isn’t the only things these guys can imitate. Ravens can also replicate wolves (which comes in handy when trying to lure them to carcasses that the ravens can’t cut open on their own), other birds, garbage trucks, and toilet flushing.

7. They Are Often Seen As Omens

Maybe it is the darker-than-night plumage or their habit of hovering over corpses. Whatever the reason, ravens have played a key role in mythology and superstition since ancient times.

In Celtic mythology, ravens were said to be an omen of battle and bloodshed. The Irish believed that the war goddess would call ravens down from the sky to eat the corpses of the fallen. This actually made sense because this is exactly what ravens do, goddess or no goddess.

The Hindus see ravens as the souls of the deceased which represent bad or good luck. In Germany, ravens are believed to hold the souls of the damned. Arabs call the raven “Abu Zajir” (“Father of Omens”). Swedish folklore tells us that ravens are the ghosts of those who were murdered and did not receive proper burials.

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