Common Raven

Corvus Corax

By Raven Robinson

Corvus corax, or the Common Raven, is a member of the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Aves (birds), Order Passeriformes (perching birds), and the Crow family also known as Corvidae. This bird can be found in mountainous regions of the world including in Europe, Greenland, Iceland, Central Asia, India, Africa, and America. While Ravens are uncommon in Eastern America they do appear in the Appalachian Mountains. The Raven’s nest can be found in coniferous trees, riverbanks, and coastal regions.

The Raven is an enormous black bird, with a wedged tail. One of its prominent features is its hoarse croak, which is quite frequent. Ravens have been known to be territorial. They have, in the past, been trapped and killed because of their territorial nature, which threatens humans. Some other threats to their existence are diseased prey and limited space for nests. They breed in monogamous pairs and both male and female inhabit the nest.

The Raven is omnivorous, meaning it eats both plants and animals. While it aids humans by eating dead, diseased animals, it also eats crop foods that are meant for human consumption. It feeds on animals such as insects, reptiles, small and large mammals, and birds such as feral pigeons. One of their methods of capturing birds is to form a small group and force their prey into the air. They then catch the birds by the wing and bring them down to their death.

The Raven was made famous by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.

Written fall 2000, as a service learning project for Dr. Gary Coté's Biology 102 class at Radford University. Copyright Pathways for Radford.

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