Flight Aerobatics of Ravens in Utah, USA
Dozens of ravens (presumably Corvus corax) were observed in aerobatic flight, making use of uplift provided by a small, isolated hill in south Utah. The main features of their flight are displayed in the video clip below, which has three parts:
The ravens didn't appear to be feeding. Wikipedia says that crows do a sort of aerial jousting to establish a pecking order.
When the video is ready, you should see an image below (prior to that, while the video is loading, you'll see the QuickTime 'Q' symbol). To start the video, click the 'play' icon (bottom-left corner). The video can be controlled (even reversed) by dragging the 'play head' icon. The first two segments play at a quarter of real-time speed.
This was mid-May in 2008, at around 6pm. When passing the hill twice again in the following week there were ravens present at the hill engaging the same behaviour.
Hi Jim, I just saw the same thing here in Edmonton on a cliff overlooking the river valley. It was amazing. Had to do a google search to see if I was the only one who has seen this. Glad to see I'm not. :)
Sherry (Edmonton, Alberta) 2012-Feb-5
I saw some crows doing similar soaring and aerobatics over a row of trees at the edge of a field, in Ottawa.
Jim (Ottawa, Ontario) 2012-Oct-5