The Raven: highly intelligent, playful, talkative, and very, very funny

When you think of a talking bird, what probably comes to mind is either a parrot or a cartoon character. If you’re a fan of Edgar Allen Poe, maybe you’d have said to yourself, “A raven, of course.” And you’d have been on to something. Ravens are surprisingly brainy and have an extraordinary talent for mimicking sound, including the human voice.

Raven intelligence is really quite astonishing and goes well beyond remembering and reproducing sounds. They’ve been seen engaging in problem-solving as well as trial-and-error learning. Ravens have a demonstrated capacity for “displacement,” the ability to communicate about objects that are distant in space or time. Ants and bees are the only other creatures, along with us humans, that are known to have that ability. Ravens are even capable of trickery! They’ll steal hidden food from other ravens and it’s such a widespread problem that they’ve been known to find out-of-the-way hiding places and also pretend to be hiding food so as to confuse any other ravens that might be watching!

Ravens’ black plumage conceals colorful personalities. Perhaps that’s why the raven you’ll see in the video posted below is named Mischief! He’s a white-necked raven, a species found in southern and eastern Africa (the more familiar common raven has a much larger range, stretching across much of the northern hemisphere, including the United States). Because of their husky voice, white-necked ravens are known as “ravens with a sore throat.”

In the video, Mischief does some amazing and also really funny mimicry. The way he says “hello” in a husky voice is not to be missed. Likewise, his ability to imitate a human cough is priceless. He does go off-script at one point, but what self-respecting raven wouldn’t?

Did you love Mischief’s verbal antics? Let us know in the comments in the comment section below the video and be sure to like and share!