Further to the remarks in my mid-winter blog post called Two Ravens, I offer this insight from an excellent “science for laymen” book about these fascinating birds.
“The general explanations for these flights with acrobatic rolls and “rrock” calls is play. Undoubtedly the birds are motivated by immediate enjoyment. But play is not an explanation from an evolutionary perspective; it has a function. I wonder whether the social play of ravens isn’t similar to a dance where teenagers get to know each other. Doing the raven “rrock” and roll may be another version of doing the twist and shout.”
— Bernd Heinrich, p. 206, Ravens in Winter, Vintage Books, 1991.