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Common Name: Common or Northern Raven Scientific Name: Corvus corax

LEAST CONCERN Common Raven Distribution: Northern Hemisphere Habitat: Varied (but not wetlands or intensively farmed land) Length: 56-69cm Weight: 0.69kg-1.63kg Diet: Omnivorous

Larger than a buzzard, and the biggest of the perching birds, the Common Raven is physically distinctive. They have one of the biggest brains of all birds, and are skilled vocalists - able to imitate humans and machines as well as communicating with other ravens. As well as vocal communication, ravens can problem solve to get food treats and juveniles engage in play behaviour; from sliding down snow drifts to aerial acrobatics. Ravens pair for life, and raise each group of 3 to 7 chicks together, however, males have been known to visit other nests while their mate is away so they are not strictly monogamous. The young birds can fly around a month after hatching, but remain with their parents for another 6 months. Once they have left their parents they will live in groups, traditionally called an unkindness or a conspiracy. Adult ravens have no predators and are capable of defending their chicks from eagles, owls and martens (related to the weasel). Parents have been seen dropping stones onto potential predators that get too close. Ravens are extremely versatile omnivores, they eat insects, small animals, carrion, berries, corn and fruit as well as eating human food waste. Their diet depends on where they live, and the variety allows them to live across the whole Northern Hemisphere. When there is an excess of food they hide it away in caches where other ravens can’t find it. When there is little food around they search for other animals’ caches. Wherever the raven is found, mythology follows. They are regarded as gods or demons, protectors or tricksters in different countries.

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