COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

The Common raven is very difficult to distinguish from the American crow if these two birds are not seen together. When seen close the raven’s larger size is obvious. Another important difference is in its vocalizations, which differ from those of the crow. The latter don’t seem to like the former and will mob them just as they do with prey birds.

The common raven has an omnivorous diet which includes scavenging. It has been associated with human societies for millenia, being part of their mythology in a positive way, but also as an omen of death. One legend associated with that bird is about the ravens of the Tower of London . The common raven has a relatively large brain and is known to display various problem-solving ‘skills’. Is the behavior described in this article also an intelligent skill?

Common Raven - Summerside, PEI - June 2016 - © Marie Smith
Common Raven – Summerside, PEI – June 2016 – © Marie Smith

The video below provides a good sample of the raven calls, which seem to require quite an effort on the part of the bird to belch out its very loud and repetitive kwaawwks.