Ravens are returning to Connecticut

Ravens are returning to Connecticut:  Yes, ravens are returning to Connecticut. How long have they been gone? A long ass time, my friend – perhaps over a 100 years. Most likely our colonial forefathers did a number on them just as they had done with the wolf and the mountain lion. They were all viewed as either dangerous or pests.

It was ten, twelve years ago, when I first became aware that ravens were returning. It happened one morning the Farmington River, in New Hartford, Connecticut. Out of the forest came that unmistakable voice.  Instantly I knew what it was. In most minds, the mighty moose and the black bear are emblematic of the Great North Woods. If you have spent any time up there,however, you ‘d want to add the smell of balsam and the call of the raven. At least I would. So to hear a raven in Connecticut was very cool and totally unexpected. I tipped my hat toward the trees. Welcomed back Corvus corax. It good to have you in town.

After that, on occasion I would see one during the winter months in Wethersfield. Not many mind you, but here and there. Crows love to flock together; ravens prefer, however, to work solo or in pairs. Then a few days ago, I was reminded again. While fishing, I heard another raven speak. Yes, no question they are returning to Connecticut.

Visually separating them from crows is not always easy task. They are both similar in appearance, especially from a distance. Yet, there other ways to separate them. The common crow’s call is rather simple. The classic caw,caw,caw. Ravens, on the other hand, have a distinctive voice, delivering a mix of gurgles, croaks, and grunts, as well as high pitched alarms that carry for miles. On the wing the raven stand out too. Crows fly like an old man rowing, in a slow steady, straight ahead pace. Ravens are powerful aloft, true acrobats, soaring, diving, and even barrel-rolling. They are a hoot to watch. Lets hope they’re here to stay.

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