The Common Raven is somewhat similar to and can be mistaken for the American Crow. It is much larger than the American Crow, but unless the two are seen together, size can be a bit deceptive. The Common Raven is a large bird (22 -27 in long) with a thick neck, shaggy throat feathers that are pointed and elongated and is entirely black in color, including their beak and eyes. Their feathers have a bit of a violet-purple luster. In flight, ravens have long, wedge-shaped tails and long wings with feathers that spread out like fingers. Ravens take 2 or 3 hops to become airborne and once in flight are very graceful as they glide and soar, whereas the Crow jumps directly into the air.
The Raven has captured man’s imagination for thousands of years. They have a reputation for divine and magical powers and their cunning is legendary. They are some of the smartest birds.
Common Ravens generally live for 10 to 15 years. Their habitat is varied as they can thrive in many climates and thus are found in many countries throughout the world. Some of their habitats include deciduous and evergreen forests, high desert, sea cliffs, mountains, sagebrush, alpine tundra and grasslands. They have coexisted with humans for many centuries and do very well around people. The Raven’s most common call is croaky, hoarse “kwawk” “kwawk” which is familiar to many. Young ravens are often quite noisy, but their calls are higher pitched and longer. Ravens mate for life. Each pair has a territory that they defend.
Ravens are omnivorous. Their diet consists of bird eggs and small animals, insects, berries, carrion, grains and fruit. They are opportunistic in their search for food which may help to contribute to the success of the species.
Their nest is a bulky construction, deep cup shaped, made of sticks and branches. The nest is typically situated in a tree or on a cliff. The female incubates the eggs (greenish and heavily spotted with brown) for 18 to 20 days. The young leave their nests in 5 to 6 weeks.