Birds

Species in Focus: Common Raven

The Common Raven (Corvus corax) is a large bird. In fact, Common Ravens are one of the largest of all Corvidae, only second to the Thicked-billed Raven.

Common Raven Perched. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Common Raven Perched. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

The Common Raven ID

The Common Raven has a noticeable shag on its throat. It looks like ruffled feathers that hang loose and off the throat.

The beak on a Common Raven is thick and has a noticeably dramatic downward curve on the upper mandible (upper beak) which comes to a point.

The nasal bristles (tiny feathers that protrude onto the upper mandible) are very long. This is evident in the photo above.

Common Raven in Flight. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Common Raven in Flight. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

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The silhouette of a Common Raven shows a more wedged looking arrangement of tail feathers, graduated into the shape of a diamond — wide in the middle and then tapered off at the end.

The flight pattern of the Common Raven is smooth and uninterrupted — think “hawk in flight”. Their size is also noticeable in flight with a wingspan of up to nearly 4 feet.

Sound

The call of a Common Raven is unmistakable. The croaking of a Common Raven is very deep and prehistoric sounding (did I get the right time period, probably not).  Have a listen. Common Raven: Audio

Common Raven in Flight. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Common Raven in Flight. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Common Ravens are solitary by nature and adapt to their habitat based on their interactions with people.

For example, avoidance by a group of Ravens can mean that they have been harmed or persecuted by humans in the past.

Common Raven Egg. Image Credit: Didier Descouens Licensed under CC 3.0.

Common Raven Egg. Image Credit: Didier Descouens Licensed under CC 3.0.

Nesting

Common Ravens build large nests in either conifer trees or on cliffs. They build the nests out of tree branches, sticks, twigs, grapevines, and are heavily lined with bark, moss, grass, and animal hair (such as deer hair).

They typically lay 3-5 eggs per clutch and the female primarily broods. The clutch hatches within three weeks (Harrison).

Stay tuned for more about Corvids!

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Categories: Birds

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