Ravens are renowned for their intelligence and sophisticated social behaviour. But a new study has revealed a previously unknown strategy among the social-climbing corvids.
Ravens attempt to prevent others forming alliances that might lead to them becoming future competitors.
In raven society, individuals may gain power by forming coalitions. “The hierarchical structure among the ravens is highly dependent on their bonding status,” explains research team member Dr Jorg Massen from the University of Vienna’s Department of Cognitive Biology.
Within this hierarchy, established 'bonded' birds are further up the social ladder than those in the process of making bonds, known as 'loosely bonded' birds. At the bottom of the social hierarchy are birds with no specific bonds, these are known as 'nonbonded' individuals.