Ravens Adapt

RAVENS– AdaptabilityHere’s a program from our archives.Ambience: young ravens crying for food The sound we’re listening to can be heard in almost every part of the world, from Africa to the Arctic to the mountains of North America: it’s the call of one remarkably adaptable bird– the raven. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ravens don’t migrate great distances like some other birds do– they’re opportunists, spending the winter wherever there’s enough food. It’s a lifestyle which dictates that ravens must be willing to try and eat almost anything.Bernd Heinrich is a Professor of Biology at the University of Vermont in Burlington.”Since ravens live in such a tremendous variety of habitats they can’t really be hard-wired to know exactly what will be food in their particular area. For example, it might be totally different in the desert than in the Arctic and so they have to sample all the different things that could potentially be food in a stage and would test with their bill and contact all kinds of things. They’re led by their parents to potential food and learn what it is and also on their own they keep testing everything. We’re well aware of this behavior. Anybody who has had a pet crow or raven will find that they’ll be picking up pennies and shiny things and so on. But they pick on anything that’s new to them. (12:20) As the season changes their diet will be changing all the time. But they simply are hunters. They will even catch birds and rodents but they also eat fruit and lots of insects, amphibians, anything they can catch. So even grain.”Now that winter’s coming on, ravens are competing for the carcasses left behind by larger predators, such as wolves.You’ve been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project – it’s a novel. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Ravens Adapt

Ravens' natural curiosity may be the trait which allows them to survive in nearly every part of the planet.
Air Date:12/04/2020
Scientist:
Transcript:

RAVENS-- AdaptabilityHere's a program from our archives.Ambience: young ravens crying for food The sound we're listening to can be heard in almost every part of the world, from Africa to the Arctic to the mountains of North America: it's the call of one remarkably adaptable bird-- the raven. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ravens don't migrate great distances like some other birds do-- they're opportunists, spending the winter wherever there's enough food. It's a lifestyle which dictates that ravens must be willing to try and eat almost anything.Bernd Heinrich is a Professor of Biology at the University of Vermont in Burlington."Since ravens live in such a tremendous variety of habitats they can't really be hard-wired to know exactly what will be food in their particular area. For example, it might be totally different in the desert than in the Arctic and so they have to sample all the different things that could potentially be food in a stage and would test with their bill and contact all kinds of things. They're led by their parents to potential food and learn what it is and also on their own they keep testing everything. We're well aware of this behavior. Anybody who has had a pet crow or raven will find that they'll be picking up pennies and shiny things and so on. But they pick on anything that's new to them. (12:20) As the season changes their diet will be changing all the time. But they simply are hunters. They will even catch birds and rodents but they also eat fruit and lots of insects, amphibians, anything they can catch. So even grain."Now that winter's coming on, ravens are competing for the carcasses left behind by larger predators, such as wolves.You've been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project - it's a novel. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.