has long pointed wings with deep, glossy, black plumage, except that
its underparts have a greenish or bluish tinge. The beak is long
and sharp with the underparts being curved over at the tip. A fringe
of coarse feathers, called the goiter, decorates the throat. Note
also the wedge shaped tail.
is the largest of the perching birds. It is distinguished from the
crow by its harsh cry and size.
Hawk like, the Raven in flight
alternates flapping with soaring. It soars on flat wings while the
crow’s wings are bent upward.
Raven, is found throughout Europe, West Asia, the Western United
States, Alaska, Arctic Canada, and into Central America.
likes sage brush and cactus in mountains, deserts, canyons, coastal
cliffs and boreal forests.
is a non-migratory bird.
are omnivorous, eating a variety of things including meat, fish,
vegetation, fruit, etc. They will eat carrion; and, to the Raven,
it makes no difference how long an animal has been dead! They seem
to enjoy carrion as much as they enjoy the flesh of recently killed
animals. These birds help clean up the environment around us by cleaning
up the garbage and filth.
mate for life, and a pair will use the same nest each season. They
build a large nest on a cliff or sometimes in a tree. Nesting materials
are sticks, twigs, cow ribs, rope ends, canvas, moss, seaweed, roots,
hay, cow dung, strips of hide, shredded bark, and hair from deer,
horses, cows and coyotes.
member of the family Corvidae is noisy and quarrelsome. They will
kill small animals for food using their beak and will also use it
birds are extremely devoted to each other and their young. Ravens
are usually found in family groups composed of the
parents and their
offspring. When the young are old enough to leave the nest and fend
for themselves, they wander off. Their elders, however, remain together.
is not commonly seen near populated areas like crows, although it
is still common in the upper elevation in less populated areas. The
Raven’s ability to adapt because of its varied diet has made
its situation in the wild more encouraging than other birds.
FOLKLORE AND MYTHS:
emphasizes that the Raven is a dour and somber bird. The shadow of
its somber wings falling across the path of a bride foretells disaster.
He is sinister and mysterious, and his coarse croakings through the
centuries have been thought prophetic of evil.
American and Alaskan folklore often includes Ravens as central characters.
the chief god of the Norsemen, was attended by two Ravens, who
whispered advice in his ears. It was the Raven that Noah sent
from the Ark. To Elijah, hiding by the brook of Cherith, the Ravens
brought food. In Wales, the legendary hero, Owein, was accompanied
by an army of Ravens that guarded him from harm.
were not unmindful of the Raven’s power, and tradition
is behind the Ravens that are kept in the Tower of London.
pilgrim fathers found Ravens in Massachusetts, but they soon fell
into evil repute, for it was discovered that they would
kill the newborn lambs and the sickly sheep. The people made
war upon them, so today Ravens do not build their nests within
boundaries of that state.
- “The National Geographic Magazine”, January-June,
- “The Little And Ives Complete Book of Science.”
Siddon, Oregon Zoo, Show Coordinator