Ravens can be classified as passerine birds and belongs to the family of Corvidae. They are characterized with a thick slightly rounded cone-shaped beak, long wings and their tails is of medium length, slightly rounded and curvy.
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Bites: Not poisonous
Nutrition: Carrion, meats, leftovers
Size:60—65 см of an inch,wingspan is 1.4 — 1.5 m
Life span:10-15 years
Region:Found throughout U.S. and other countries
Ravens are black in color and they inhibit lonely areas of the northern hemisphere. They also live in Europe, North America and parts of Asia. In the past, they live in lowlands. They could also be seen on the streets of cities. Back in the 17centurry there is a general believe that ravens are evil birds that are endowed with supernatural powers. With such believe that they are evil, hunters and shepherds began killing and destroying them, making them settle in less populated areas. Now ravens are scarce and live mostly in the mountains, forests, tundra, desserts and other deserted landscape. Despite strict policy against killing of these birds, people kept on killing them, particularly in regions where they graze sheep and hunt for animals. Male ravens reach sexual maturity at the age of three. Except for nesting period, the young ravens usually gather in small flocks and roam. However, they do not fly more than 200 km. Adult ravens jealously defend their territory and drives off predators.
They have a body length of 60-65cm and the males are larger than females. The length of male wings is from 410-473 mm, while females have 385-460 wing length. The males typically weigh 1100-1560 grams, females 798- 1315 g with a wingspan of about 1.4- 1.5 m. Black ravens have monochrome colors like Rooks, but ravens are easily distinguished by their large size. They have black plumage with greenish or bluish tint. The young have matte black metal plumage without reflux. The adults have black coloring on their head and neck, their wings are purple-like in color, and the underside of their body is bluish metal color. Their feathers are sharpened and they have dark brown iris.
Their beaks are sharp, strong, and black in color. Their claws are strong and curved
They have great eyesight that plays a big role in their vision. Their eyes are positioned on their head in a way as to make it possible for it to turn round and view things. Their large eyes are fairly cut and round in shape.
Their organs of hearing are not external but located internally. Their hearing aids are located in such a way to defend them from the effects of external damages to the eardrum. The feathers located around their ears are for protection. However, they cause extra burden, serving as a sound barrier. The plumage tends to serve as a replacement of the auricle.
Sound is as important as hearing for the ravens because they live a social live and this aids them in socializing. Their sound is recognized and they can pass messages with their tones. With this ability, they can be trained and educated easily. These birds will carefully listen to people’s conversation far away and respond to changes in pitch.
With their voice, these birds can recognize a member of its flock from afar. They can also distinguish the sounds of other animals and this enables them to obtain important information and avoid danger.
What ravens eat?
Ravens are mostly omnivorous. They feed on both plants and animals and their food consist of insects and other invertebrates, eggs of other birds, small mammals, berries, fruits and seeds of plants. They often eat carrion.
Some species of ravens have adapted to live in towns and feed on waste of human foods.
Research conducted by American ornithologists in the united states region on American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and common ravens (Corvus corax) shows that ravens are the most omnivorous among all birds, eating waste products like bread, pasta, fried potatoes, sandwiches, dog food and fodder for livestock. The study also shows that the total number of such birds present is greatly influenced by the presence of such waste products.
In the Alps for example, ravens feed on dead chamois and other goats. A big carrion can feed a large number of ravens.
When spring comes, they often flock to herds of sheep where lambs are born. The placenta contains a special diet of raven’s food that is disposed after the birth of a lamb. When winter comes, they often hide food in different locations.
How intelligent are ravens?
Ravens are among the most intelligent creatures. Their brain size is as the same size of the brain of a chimpanzee.
Although scientist can’t confirm if they have languages, they acknowledge that they have something like regional dialect.
Ravens are sexually matured from two years above. Most species of ravens are monogamous in nature and the couples stay together throughout their lifetime.
They usually build their nest on branches of the main trunk of trees and also on the far side of branches. They use dry twig, taped-grass or bark and bedding wool to build their nests. Both males and females come together to build nest.
Ravens eggs . Ravens lays 3-7 eggs which comes in bluish-green, greyish green and brown color. The eggs dimensions are 49.7 x 33.4 mm in dimension and they stay between 19-21 days before the chicks are hatched. Depending on the species, the hatched chicks stay in the nest for 6-10 weeks.
After the offspring leaves their nets, they get independents immediately. It’s during this period that they begin exploring and understanding the world. Their parents won’t like to share foods with the offspring thus forcing them to feed on their own.
After living a secured life in the nests of their parents, the chicks face real life dangers when they are independent, which force them to defend themselves and exercise caution. The young offspring learns from their parent’s experience, which is important for their survival. Later on these young ravens gathers experience and starts looking for a mate to stay together and create their own nests.
Ravens starts breeding early in the spring and after an intense winter many animals die, making food available for the young offspring and the ravens as a whole. During the first month of life, ravens feed their young with the copses of foxes and hares that serve as a large source of protein food. When they don’t find the dead bodies of animals, they’ll eat anything they can find around. For instance, they hunt down small mammals, insects, birds, frogs and lizards.
Are ravens dangerous?
Ravens are great enemies of humans and cats. Ravens attack mostly if it senses danger and is trying to protect itself from its attackers.
If you see ravens on trees, it is better not to walk near it, and you shouldn’t touch it. It is very unlikely to kill them when you come across them, but they might inflict some injuries on you. Ravens might attack humans with their beaks and claws, threatening to remove the eyes and flesh on the face. If injuries gotten from ravens are not taken care of in time, they can develop into serious infection because they use their beaks and claws to feed on decomposing animals carcasses and on garbage which might contain bacteria and harmful viruses.
Avoid ravens by all means, especially if you decide to take a walk with a child or with your pet. It has been discovered by scientist that ravens don’t just have memories, they are able to revenge. When a wild cat attacks a raven’s offspring in the past during hunting, the raven doesn’t forget so easily and may suddenly attack the cat from the air months after. Ravens are able to tell which cat or wild animal attacked its chicks from hundreds of other cats and wait patiently for revenge at least in a months’ time or even a year.
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