Parrots aren’t the only birds that can mimic human speech, as this video of Mischief the raven proves.
After looking at the bird for a few seconds to get his full attention, she waits until he is fully focused.
‘Mischief can you say hello?’ she asks. ‘Hello’ he responds, before getting a treat. ‘He does all sorts of voices, can you say hi?’ she continues.
‘Hi,’ he retorts in a high pitched voice. ‘Good job!’ she tells the bird. ‘And sometimes he hears people who have a cold,’ she adds before coughing loudly. In response Mischief coughs back.
The raven’s ability to communicate a variety of messages through its call – with over 20 distinct patterns of calls recorded by researchers – have earned them the status of being one of the most intelligent species of birds. The raven also has a prominent role in the mythologies of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, including the Tsimishians, Haidas, Heiltsuks, Tlingits, Kwakwaka’wakw, Coast Salish, Koyukons, and Inuit. The raven in these indigenous peoples’ mythology is the Creator of the world, but it is also considered a trickster god.
The raven was a common device used by the Vikings. ODIN relies on his two ravens to fly round the world every day and keep him informed by talking.