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The Lovers

Ravens are believed to be monogamous and to mate for life.


Young and adolescent ravens gather in groups, sometimes large groups -- I am regularly visited by sixty or more in the morning -- called "gangs". 


These gatherings are full of bluster, flirting and posturing.

The process of determining a life partner for ravens usually takes one or two years and sometimes as long as three in gang participation. The securing of an available territory to claim and defend seals the bond. 

Scientists who study these things inform us that the stress hormones in raven droppings is high during the gang years and is noticeably less in mated relationships. Adult ravens are demonstrably affectionate with each other and with their fledgelings.


Flirtation amongst adolescents is energetic, often competitive and clearly joyous when it takes to the sky:  ravens of all ages play aerobatic games of Follow the Leader and airborne Catch with either large pieces of food or sticks, taking turns dropping the objects and catching them while flying in wild spirals and loops.

Ravens are believed to live ten to fifteen years in the wild.

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