Our relationship with ravens can be traced back many thousands of years. According to Norse mythology the god Odin had two ravens named Huginn (meaning 'thought') and Munnin (meaning 'memory'). He would send them out each day to fly around the world and then return to perch on his shoulders and tell him of what they had seen and heard. With its black colouration, croaking calls and diet of carrion, the raven has long been considered a bird of ill omen , but this over-simplifies our relationship with these highly successful birds as Brett Westwood discovers when he eavesdrops on their conversations at night, meets a man who has reared a raven and talks to a scientist who has long been fascinated by their powers of intelligence. Ravens are more like us than you might like to think. Producer Sarah Blunt.

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28 minutes

Last on

Mon 14 Nov 2016 21:00

Lloyd Buck and Brann the raven

Lloyd Buck and Brann the raven
Over the past 25 years, Lloyd and his wife Rose have hand-reared and trained birds for many different film and television productions on location and in studios. 

Lloyd's passion for birds began at a very young age and he has been lucky enough to turn it into a long rewarding career, having an instinctive, intuitive way with the birds.

"Looking after our birds is a not just our career and job, it is a lifestyle, as you have to be there for them seven days a week, but we love it" Lloyd said. "Because we always make sure the birds enjoy themselves, we can get the best out of them without compromising their welfare.”

Brann is the second raven that Lloyd and Rose have reared. Ravens are one of the most intelligent of all birds. Brann has a wonderful temperament, is well behaved (most of the time!) and has been trained to carry a camera for filming in a wide range of locations.

Professor Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Professor Miranda Aldhouse-Green
Miranda was born and educated in London. She graduated from Cardiff and Oxford Universities and gained her PhD at the Open University. She is currently Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University.

Her research interests lie principally in the fields of Iron Age and Roman religion and ritual. Among her most recent books are Caesar's Druids and Bog Bodies Uncovered. She is currently working on a new book entitled Sacred Britannia.

Professor Nicky Clayton

Professor Nicky Clayton
Nicky Clayton is Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and Scientist in Residence with the dance company Rambert, reflecting her two passions as a scientist and dancer.

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010 for her work on the cognitive capacities of corvids, and has collaborated extensively with Rambert's Artistic Director Mark Baldwin on various choreographic works which explore the power and magic of wordless thoughts and the abstract nature of ideas.

In tandem with this, Nicky also works with fine artist and writer, Clive Wilkins. Together they founded The Captured Thought which goes beyond the usual  interdisciplinary channels, combining science, art and the performing arts, to explore thinking with and without words.

Chris Watson

Chris Watson
Chris Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena. He was born in Sheffield and in 1971 he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire.

His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance recordist for film, TV & radio, Chris Watson specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with track assembly and sound design in post production.

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