January 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM

January Ravens

'In flight, they circle each other, fly in close formation, flip and turn and dive together.'

By Karen Denison

At Home Outdoors

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.

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January whether cold or warm (as we've had this past two weeks) brings out the "fun" in the ravens.  Literally "empty-nesters" since last fall they renew their life-long bonds with their mate by complex interactions so very different in appearance to the rigidly patterned courtship behaviors in other creatures, especially other birds.
 
 
No, ravens appear for all intents and purposes to flirt and play with each other in creative ways.  In flight, they circle each other, fly in close formation, flip and turn and dive together.  I've even watched them take each others' feet in flight and spin a turn or two--an aerial do-si-do--before releasing and flying on.
 
 
The days with sunshine and a moderate breeze are the best days to see raven couples at play.  And although they can be found all over our area, some of the best spots from which to see the fun are places where the breezes create an updraft against hillsides.
 
 
For more on New Mexico's crows and ravens see my "other" blog.  And look for the dancing ravens the next time you're out and about!
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