A flock of ravens is called an “unkindness,” but they are in fact, quite amicable. A video (above) shows the gentle bond shared by Loki the raven and its human owner, Elliot. Rescued in a physically and emotionally distraught state, over time Loki has developed an emotional security that shows in its behaviour.

Not only do ravens have great memory, solve difficult problems, steal shiny objects and play games, but they also display empathy for one another. Ravens even mark their teenage years by leaving home and roaming in rebellious groups, which actually raises their stress levels, not unlike human teenagers.

According to researchers, ravens also use “very sophisticated nonvocal signals.” In other words, they gesture to communicate. A study in Austria found that ravens point with their beaks to indicate an object to another bird, just as we do with our fingers. They also hold up an object to get another bird’s attention.

Perhaps this non-verbal communication is behind the puffing of Loki’s tail feathers when he sees his beloved owner, Elliot. Ravens also speak, mimicking human voices even better than parrots do:


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