Raven Stories

Anchorage raven
By Shara Dorris, used with permission.

They perch on light poles and chastise you for parking too close. They harass your dog and break in to your trash bags.

They defy gravity with flight patterns that would make an F-15 pilot jealous. In courtship, they may fluff their lower feathers and offer, as biologist Rick Sinnott has called it, “the saggy-pants display.” If it’s their head feathers, you might see the “Batman” look.

They hunt with wolves. They save snacks for later. They make up to 30 distinct calls. When oil development moved to the North Slope, so did they. Thousands congregate in Anchorage every winter for ease of dining.

They are our noisy winter companions when many other birds have flown south.

The artwork featured above, by Anchorage artist Shara Dorris, captures one resident’s affection and familiarity with neighborhood ravens. Join me, host Kathleen McCoy, when Hometown, Alaska celebrates  our cranky, clever, opinionated large black songbird – the raven.


  • Lisa Pajot, USGS and Bird TLC
  • Shara Dorris, artist and proprietor Octopus Ink Clothing



  • Ravens in Winter, Bernd Heinrich
  • Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich
  • The Way Winter Comes, ‘Telling Raven Stories,’ Sherry Simpson
  • Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, ‘Raven,’ Craig Childs


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, February 13, 2013. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, February 13, 2013. 7:00 – 8:00 pm (Alaska time)

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