Wolves at Blacktail Pond

Wolf and ravens at Blacktail Pond in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

If you didn’t know already, ravens and wolves have a very unique kind of relationship in the wild. They share a symbiotic relationship, which means they both benefit from what they do for each other.

Ravens will adopt wolves, playing with them as they grow. They will even follow the “adopted” wolf if it decides to leave the pack.

Ravens will also lead wolf packs to carcasses that they find and share the meal. Interestingly, the majority of birds have learned to listen to and follow the howling of wolves to possibly get a free meal. Since ravens are so much bigger than any of the other bird species, they allow the wolves to hunt and eat in relative peace while the ravens act as their personal security system.

It is also a popular theory that the reason wolves started hunting in packs is because ravens would often steal the majority of the meal from the wolf. So wolves started to form packs to help negate the losses. Over time, the ravens learned that if they team up with the pack they can all eat much bigger meals, much more often.

If you have the opportunity to see wolves in the wild, see if you can spot the ravens that follow.

Cordell Doss is an intern at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide. He says, “I have always had a deep appreciation for animals and love learning more about the natural world around us.”

Cordell Doss.jpeg

Cordell Doss with one of the wolves at Colorado Wolf and Wilelife Center in Divide.


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