The Common Raven, also known as the Northern Raven, is a large passerine bird found across the Northern Hemisphere. Measuring around 24-27 inches in length, with a wingspan of 46-56 inches, and weighing between 1.5-4 pounds, they are one of the largest songbirds in the world. They have a distinctive wedge-shaped tail, shaggy throat feathers, and a thick, curved beak that helps them scavenge for food.
The Common Raven is primarily black, but has a glossy sheen that can appear blue, purple or green in certain lighting. One distinguishing feature is its throat feathers, which are elongated and shaggy, giving it a “beard” like appearance. They are also known for their deep, croaking calls, which are often used to communicate with other ravens and to establish territory.
Common Ravens are non-migratory birds and can be found throughout most of North America, Europe, and Asia. However, in the far north, where winters are harsh, some ravens may move southward in search of food. They are also known to form communal roosts in the winter, which can number in the thousands.
Despite their large size, Common Ravens are agile and can perform acrobatic maneuvers in flight. They are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities, which have been observed in various studies. In the wild, they are opportunistic feeders and will scavenge for a variety of food sources, including carrion, insects, fruits, and small animals. They are also known to steal food from other birds and animals, and will cache food for later use.
Overall, the Common Raven is an impressive and adaptable bird with many unique characteristics. Its large size, distinctive calls, and problem-solving abilities make it a fascinating species to observe in the wild.