Common Raven

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image: commonraven.jpg

Common Name: Common Raven
Scientific Name: Corvus corax

Size: 22-27 inches (56-69 cm)

Habitat: North America and Eurasia, southward into Central America and northern Africa.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 16,000,000 mature individuals. The Common Raven had nearly disappeared from the northeastern United States in the early part of the 20th century. Its numbers in that area increased markedly in the last half of the century, and it is reoccupying much of its former range. Because of small population sizes in much of the East, it is listed as endangered or threatened in a number of states. Populations have been increasing all across the range, especially in the West where it has taken advantage of human-modified habitats.

Diet: Meat, eggs, insects, grain, fruit, garbage and carrion.

Breeding: The raven often uses sheep wool to line its nest. When the female leaves the nest for a while she may cover the eggs with the wool. The nest is usually placed on a cliff or in tree, but has also been found in man-made structures such as telephone poles and abandoned cars.

Cool Facts: The largest of the songbirds, the raven is one of the most widespread species in the world. The raven is perhaps the smartest of all birds. It has been documented that Ravens carry “favorite” sticks with them that they use as tools to spear grubs. They are known to drop hard-to-crack nuts into crosswalks, let the cars run them over and then wait for a red light to collect their meal.

Breeding pairs will hold territories and try to exclude all other ravens throughout the year. Intruders who discover food within another bird’s territory may call to other ravens to swamp the territories defenses to steal the food.

Continued urban development has helped the raven populations to increase causing significant negative effects on the populations of endangered desert tortoises and Least Terns. Ravens have also been implicated in causing power outages by contaminating insulators on power lines, fouling satellite dishes at the Goldstone Deep Space Site, peeling radar absorbent material off buildings at the China Lake Naval Weapons center, pecking holes in airplane wings and even stealing golf balls.

Found in Songbird Remix Second Edition and Songbird Remix Corvus corvus Bundle

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