Resident Bird - Raven
Mitra This bird, probably male based on size, was found on 6/9/10 as a fledgling, in a picnic area in a park in Berkeley, California. Though he was vocalizing, no adults were seen. He was very thin, and easily picked up due to a severe visual deficit. He was taken to Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. Exams by an avian ophthalmologist indicated no problem in the outer eye, meaning there is damage to either the optic nerve or brain. The bird was clearly not releasable, as he is very hesitant in new places. He is, however, quickly trained to find his food and perches, thus gaining confidence, and seems to relish interactions with people. He was transferred to CRC in mid-August 2011.
Raven (Corvus corax)
The common Raven belongs to the Corvidae
family: large perching birds that includes ravens, crows, jays, magpies,
nutcrackers, and their relatives. This large black bird has a long head with
a heavy, curved black bill. The sexes are similar in size and plumage,
with males being slightly larger and darker. The wings are long,
narrow, and pointed; the tail is wedge-shaped; the legs and feet are black. Ravens have dark brown eyes at maturity, a
black mouth and tongue, and large
nostrils hidden by feather tufts.
Plumage of adults is black, highlighted in bright sunlight
with a purplish gloss to the body feathers, and a greenish gloss to the wing
feathers. The bases of the head and body feathers are gray, and palest
around the neck; adults have a shaggy feathering at the throat, visible when
the bird is perched. Feathers of immature ravens have a duller, dark
brown coloring. Ravens can be distinguished from crows by their larger
size, longer body, deeper, more guttural voice, wedge-shaped tail, and
heavier, more curved bill. Their flight alternates flapping, gliding
on flat wings, and a hawk-like soaring which is characteristic of ravens,
but not crows.
Size - Length: 24" ave. • Wing Span: 53" ave. • Weight: 2.6 lb. ave.
Status - Federally protected.
Habitat - Ravens tend to keep away from
concentrations of people, but can live in many habitats. Found in
boreal forests and mountainous regions of the west, they also inhabit arid
grasslands, tundra, riverbanks, and coastal areas near seabird colonies.
Ravens were historically widespread on the Great Plains when bison were
Diet - Ravens eat a broad range of
foods, varying by season and habitat. Fruit, seeds, insects, carrion,
rodents, eggs, nestlings, amphibians, reptiles, and shellfish are all
suitable foods for this generalist. Ravens may follow carnivores to
clean up after their meals, and will often cache meat from a carcass.
Call - A long, hoarse kraaw.....kraaw....
or rrock, rrock... is typical of raven calls, but they are
capable of an incredible variety of vocalizations relating to their rich
social behavior. Like crows and other related species, ravens are good
mimics of other bird calls.
Nesting - Ravens build large, bulky
stick nests high up in tall trees, on cliffs, or on manmade structures like
powerlines or abandoned buildings. The same sites may be used for many
years, with nests becoming as much as four feet high.
Most Common Problems - The most common
causes of injury are the ingestion of plastic items, tangling in wire,
getting caught in traps, gunshot, or being hit by vehicles. Logging has
caused population declines in some areas.