My Bantam Lake

Common Raven

Written on 06/10/2018

Corvus corax

The Common Raven is a massive bird with a thick neck, shaggy throat feathers, and a Bowie knife beak. In flight, they have long, wedge-shaped tails. They're more slender than crows, with longer, narrower wings, and longer, thinner feathers at the wingtips. They measure in length from 56 to 69 centimeters and in wingspan from 116 to 118 centimeters. Common Ravens are entirely black, including their legs, eyes, and beak. They are not social like crows, and the tend to be alone or in pairs except at food sources like landfills, where they forage for food along the ground. They are confident, inquisitive birds that are buoyant and graceful in flight. Common Ravens live in open and forest habitats across western and northern North America. They do well around people, particularly rural settlements but also some towns and cities. The Common Raven is of low conservation concern.

Fun facts:

  • Ravens are among the smartest of all birds. Young birds are fond of playing games with sticks, repeatedly dropping them, then diving to catch them in midair.
  • Breeding pairs hold territories and try to exclude all other ravens throughout the year.
  • Common Ravens can mimic the calls of other bird species, or even the words of humans when raised in captivity.
  • The oldest known wild Common Raven was at least 22 years, 7 months old.


Source: Common Raven Overview and Identification Information, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology