Raven gets 45-minute ‘free ride’ with B.C. couple travelling on remote highway


A Quadra Island couple had a raven encounter they’ll remember for the rest of their lives while travelling through Canada’s remote north.

Alex Lavoie and his girlfriend Jodi Young were driving along the Dempster Highway for work on Saturday when a raven flew in front of the vehicle, joining the ride for about 45 minutes.

“I was fairly surprised at first,” Lavoie said. “I didn’t expect the raven to stay around for any longer than a few seconds, but after about 30 I handed the phone to my partner and started filming.”

Raven pictured on Dempster Highway, Yukon. Photo supplied by Alex Lavoie

Lavoie was travelling about 80 kilometres an hour along the isolated highway, which spans 740 kilometres and connects Dawson City, Yukon, to Inuvik, N.W.T., when the raven swooped in.

The video, which has since been shared on YouTube,, shows the raven appearing to surf on the air in front of the windshield while bobbing in front of the car.

“Which definitely made me nervous at first,” Lavoie explained. “But after a while I felt confident, it obviously felt confident and just kept going with it.”

He added it almost felt like the bird was playing a game with them.

Ann Nightingale with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory told CHEK News that’s likely what it was doing.

She said ravens are one of the bird species known for liking to play.

“A raven managed, probably accidentally, to get into that [air] stream and just decided to carry on with it,” Nightingale explained. “Although given how proficient it was at it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s done it before.”

The Dempster Highway is known for being beautiful, but Lavoie says this encounter made it even better.

“This is wild,” Lavoie can be heard repeating in the video.

He said the raven was keeping pace with them for about 20 minutes before he decided to pull over and see if it would interact.

“We travel with our cat everywhere we go and had some cat treats. I hopped out and fed it some Temptations,” Lavoie said. “Eventually got back into the vehicle and as we started driving, it caught back up.”

Alex Lavoie is shown feeding the raven cat treats. (Submitted)

He said the raven flew with their vehicle for another 20 or so minutes, making the total encounter about 45 minutes long.

“I’ve definitely experienced quite a bit with wildlife, but not with a raven like this,” said Lavoie.

The couple’s journey with the raven ended once it caught up with a friend.

“Another raven came in and they flew off together and were playing on the road. I guess he was done with the free ride and went on his merry way,” Lavoie added.

He said it was an experience they will never forget.

Watch the full video below.

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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