COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Corvus corax
DIETSmall mammals, nesting birds, eggs, berries, and carrion
HABITATForests, shrublands, grasslands, rocky areas, and artificial/terrestrial areas
Common ravens are the largest members of the Corvid family. On average, they can grow to be 22-27 inches long with a wingspan of 45-46 in. Most ravens are black and will have ruff feathers, called hackles, on their throat. Their strong, large feet and long bills can be used for ripping items open and even for using tools!
Few animals attempt to prey on ravens, but if they are feeding on a carcass, ravens may encounter polar bears, wolves, coyotes, and birds of prey and will defer to them. However, they also have been known to work cooperatively to distract other predators at feed sites while certain individuals eat.
In the wild, they have been known to live an average of 10-15 years, but in human care they have been known to live up to 40-50 years.
Ravens have been known to mate for life and will often fly with their wingtips touching those of their mate. The pair will build their nest in their established territory. The female will lay anywhere from 4-7 eggs at a time. She will incubate the eggs for about 20 days.
During that time, the male will hunt and bring food back to the female. Once hatched, the chicks will stay in the nest for about 4 weeks.
Ravens are considered to be one of the smartest of the bird species and they’re incredible problem solvers! For instance, they will call larger carnivores over to a dead carcass in order for them to tear it open in which now they can eat it for themselves!
They’re considered scavenger hunters and will feed on pests such as rodents and insects but will also clean up carrion. This makes them a very important part of the ecosystem in which they live. Ecosystems have a natural balance so it’s important for us as humans to leave no trace!
Once you leave nature, no one should know that you’ve been there. This means bringing out anything that you’ve brought in. Additionally, leaving the environment unaltered is equally important. To learn more about the Leave no Trace initiative and their 7 principles for minimum impact practices, visit: www.lnt.org.