Call of the Raven

…and it is not “nevermore” but so much more. They have quite a lot to say.

[su_box title=”Got Ravens?” style=”soft” box_color=”#e8d3a9″ title_color=”#235529″]QUESTION: Are you hearing ravens where you live? I’m especially interested to know about other places in Floyd County where these birds may be year-round residences. [/su_box]

Their call is the distant throaty croaking you will hear several times, beginning about 10 seconds in.

We’ve had these impressive and intelligent members of the crow family living in our valley all along. But I am pretty sure we have not had the level of activity we are seeing this year.

And in the past few weeks, the soaring in pairs and the vocalizations have really increased–from dawn to dusk. I’ve set myself the task of finding a nest, which is likely on a rock ledge up the gorge.

I will likely have more to say about the ravens of Goose Creek later on, but for now, listen to this brief recording (over creek sounds and indigo bunting song) of back and forth raven calls. You can hear at least two distinct individual voices by their different pitches.

The raven image was taken on Buffalo Mountain a few years ago. I’ll have to retell that account of ravens at play–unforgettable!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Yes, yes Fred! Joe and I have commented repeatedly about how loud and busy they’ve seemed up at our house. We’ve always loved watching them.