Type: Exploratory
Pages: 4 | Words: 939
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

The purpose of this paper is to prepare educational material on the Common Raven (Corvus corax). This research paper is based on the information gathered from scholarly resources found on this topic. The focus of the research was to observe the specie in its natural setting. Together the observation and the resources found on the internet, in this paper report the information about the biology of the Common Raven.

Through many centuries the mankind had been impacting the lives of many other species, mostly in a negative way, endangering them and leading many of them to extinction. Nevertheless, the Common Raven (Corvus corax) is a widespread wildlife animal, which has accommodated to human destructive behavior and learnt to benefit from it. Being easily adapted to any conditions, and famous for being able to find the necessary resources, the Common Raven can be easily labeled as the resident of the world as it is found in almost any corner of the planet. These birds are characterized as a “jet black with a shaggy throat, highly varied hoarse utterances and an affinity for carrion”, with narrow wings, which they use to fly with regular wing beats, and massive black bills. These wedge-tailed birds can be spotted on the tops of the trees. In size these animals are the largest songbirds with approximately 21 Inches long body. Historically, due to their appearance and their unique cawing, Common Ravens are associated with death and war, and are used in the literature as their symbolical metaphor. Nonetheless, the Common Ravens are entitled to be the smartest birds, and are considered to be smarter than many mammals due to their abilities to count, critically analyze the situation for finding solution to a problem.


Due to their extreme resourcefulness the Common Raven habitat ranges the space of Europe, most Asia and Siberia, and North America. In the USA area, the Common Raven takes most North American space, but cannot be found in the Great Planes, as well as at the southeast and on the West part of the east Texas. Deserts, tundra, mountainous and forest regions are serving well for the raven areas, which rarely migrates being an all year resident. The last 30-50 years had signified the 15- fold expansion in the population of the Common Raven. According to Levy (2011), such a population boom is reasoned by the supply of life-supporting resources the ravens were getting from the humans.


Depending on the area of habitation, ravens eat different food. Nevertheless, these predators are not that meticulous about what they eat. The shared habitat with humans defines an easier procurement of food. Levy (2011) writes: “New varieties of food consumption can also be linked to human presence. For example, the garbage and waste used by the ravens has an evident effect on their diet and an “opportunistic” behavior, forcing humans to change their methods of garbage disposal”. In any case they are still mostly carnivorous scavenging animals that either hunt on small prey, or pick up the dead carcasses or the leftovers of someone else’s fiest. The ravens that live close with humans usually rely on their activity to find food. That is to say that the ravens seek for agricultural materials, such as seeds, or their fruits, find the leftovers from the garbage, and water. As for the loners, they have learned to search for food in the desert. Such as today, the common ravens are known to hunt on juvenile desert tortoises, by such a way leading their specie to the endangerment. This phenomenon is described in Final Environmental Assessment to Implement a Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan Task: Reduce Common Raven Predation on the Desert Tortoise. In their management plan, the Ironwod Consulting, Inc. write: “The purpose of this document is to outline measures that would reduce raven predation on hatchling and juvenile desert tortoises thereby increasing hatchling and juvenile desert tortoise survivorship and recruitment into the adult population, which is expected to contribute to the recovery of the species”.

Nesting and breeding

Not only humans have been the main distributors of food and water for ravens, but also have been deliberately organizing potential nesting areas and breeding conditions. Messmer et al. state that “Ravens are generally monogamous”. The birds use the new constructed or modified nests from anything they can possibly find for a few years in a row. The ravens like solitariness, therefore they build their nests either at the tops of no less than 6 feet tall trees, or host themselves on the edges of the lonely cliffs. Nevertheless, with the expansion of the human territory and the cut down of many forests, the ravens have also adapted their solitary lifestyle in the cities as well. Henschell writes in his research: “Nests are typically lined with soft material such as hair, shredded bark or moss”. The raven lays in average 4 to 6 eggs per week, which need 20 days to incubate. The raven becomes able to breed at its third year of life.


While writing the paper the major features, habitat and population, ration, as well as nesting and breeding of the Common Raven were investigated. The research has indicated that the extremely smart and fast learning Common Raven is encountered in most parts of the globe due to its compliancy with the living conditions and non-picky attitude towards food. On the contrary, in the last few decades the Common Raven specie seem to have assimilated closer to people, which has been mirrored positively in the expansion of the breed vastly. Nonetheless, the Common Raven seems to have become an enemy to the desert turquoise, putting the whole specie on the list of endangered animals.

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