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Hunters ring dinner bell for ravens: Experimental evidence of a unique foraging strategy
Ecology
  • Crow White, University of Montana - Missoula
Publication Date
4-1-2005
Abstract
We have long known that corvids are adaptively flexible in behavior, but have rarely tested their flexibility and creativity in solving problems outside the laboratory. Through a carefully controlled experiment conducted in the wild, I have found that Common Ravens (Corvus corax) fly toward gunshot sounds, presumably in order to locate animal gut piles left by hunters. This is the first conclusive evidence of any scavenger species pursuing gunshots. Furthermore, ravens exhibited this behavior only when gunshots were fired from within forested habitat, when the shots may be most valuable to them for locating gut piles. Interestingly, raven behaviors suggest that they may have learned the usefulness of gunshots by substituting them for other previously known sounds already used to locate food in the wild.
Disciplines
Citation Information
Crow White. "Hunters ring dinner bell for ravens: Experimental evidence of a unique foraging strategy" Ecology Vol. 86 Iss. 4 (2005) p. 1057 - 1060
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cwhite31/11/