Raven with Porcupine Quills in Face Asks for Help

Ravens have a bad reputation as harbingers of darkness, but are actually misunderstood animals capable of amazing forms of communication.

Thanks to Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem The Raven, these birds are often regarded as omens of misery and death. Yet, despite their dark, dreary appearance, they are among the most intelligent birds and are also among the most intelligent animals in the world.

In Nova Scotia in Canada, a common raven displays a truly impressive amount of intelligence. Perching on a residential fence, it squawked for over an hour to acquire the nearby humans’ attention.

When the residents finally took notice, they went outside to investigate and discovered the raven had three porcupine quills embedded in the side of its face and one embedded in its wing.

Image: Sigurður Atlason


The woman went forward to touch the raven and surprisingly the bird stayed put on the fence post.

Due to fight or flight instincts, most wild animals (regardless of injury) would attempt to flee from humans, even if their intentions are good.

But this raven doesn’t.

Clearly, it understands that the humans can help and has probably watched humans helping each other or other animals. It patiently sits on the fence while the women removes three quills from its face, squawking in pain each time a quill is removed.

Without the help of the humans, this particular raven probably would have died from the quill wounds or possible ensuing infection.