(too-loo-gak): Inuktitut (the language of Inuit) word meaning raven

Walt Humphries

Yellowknife, NT

Originally, the birds used to roost downtown in the early 1960 and 1970s. As the town grew, the birds got harassed more so they moved their roost out of town out at Fiddler’s Lake. Nobody seems to know why. It’s a sewage lagoon. There are probably more animals there because of the sewage, more nutrients in the water. They’re roosting out there which means they have to fly right over the airport to get to it which upsets the guys at the airport because of the navigation. Every night you’ll see them fly out there and then come back in the morning. They don’t fly in big flocks, but there is a regular stream of them flying out there and back. There’re several hundred in the roost. The raven population and the seagull population have gone up almost in stride with the human population. That’s because of the garbage dump. It’s such good feeding for them. There are almost two sets of ravens. They’re the ones that hang around town here and the ones out in the bush. The ones in the bush act quite a bit different than the ones in town. In the bush, you don’t get these big rookeries. You get individual nesting pairs. When the population was smaller, before the high rises went in downtown, the ravens used to hang around downtown and they were lower to the ground. They used to talk a lot. It was common to walk home and hear a raven sitting in a tree making a whole series of sounds.