NATURE’s Ravens explores how these all-black creatures acquired their dual and contradictory images — as birds of both life and death.

Long recognized as one of the most intelligent birds, the raven also has a less than savory image throughout history as a scavenger that does not discriminate between humans and animals.

Ingenious and versatile, ravens are members of the crow family, which includes jays and magpies. They are found everywhere in the northern hemisphere and adapt to very different terrain, from deserts to mountains — a feat requiring high intelligence.

They learn to find food even in the harshest conditions, such as the dead of winter in Yellowstone National Park. As scavengers, ravens know how and when to take advantage of other animals to help them cadge a meal they couldn’t otherwise reach. In Yellowstone, bison that don’t survive the harsh winter attract coyotes, whose sharp teeth and strong jaws rip open the tough, frozen hides — making the meat accessible to watchful ravens. They also have been seen following wild wolf packs to a kill; some stories even have ravens flying ahead of the wolves to lead them to prey.

To order a copy of Ravens, please visit the NATURE Shop.

Online content for Ravens was originally published December 2001.

  • anita

    when will pbs show the raven special again? i missed it but would like to watch it or purchase it.

  • Scott

    To order a copy of Ravens, please visit the NATURE Shop.

  • j

    this is not all that intrestng

  • Val

    I have a pet raven….rescued from a nest when his tree was cut down. He can’t fly, tho x-rays show no reason. (Maybe he doesn’t want to.) He can ‘fly’ up to the top of a six foot fence and hops/flaps to get where he wants to go. His behavior is very like the ravens in the program, he caches food, will catch frogs, (eats just about anything) and is an awesome mimic….often sounds like there are people conversing in the barn he lives in. Also barks or whines like our dogs, and has figured out if he makes the ‘going to lay an egg’ noise around our laying hens, they will start laying, at which point he goes down and steals the egg. He seen us use the latch on the door to the goat shed twice, and promptly started unlatching the door and letting the goats out.
    We get a huge kick out of him, wish we had a mate for him, as the wild ravens around here seem to know he can’t fly and will ‘dive/attack’ him if he’s out by himself, so we always have to keep an eye out when he’s out in the yard.

  • raven

    ravens are cool birds

  • debbie kelley

    I would like to know more about Ravens
    I have a lot of them in my yard,and they love dogfood.

  • Red

    The latest interesting thing I have seen a crow do is hop up and balance repeatedly on an empty water bottle turned on its side in a parking lot. Of course the bottle would roll around, but the crow kept hopping back up on top, messing around for several minutes. A pair of ravens lives near me and they know when I top off my horse water trough. They wait in a nearby tree until I leave and then take a drink and bath, and often leave me some nice food garbage like chicken drumsticks floating inside.

  • nick

    lets go baltimor ravens forget the regular raven

  • Mr.hat

    last week there were so many ravens in a tree near my house im talkin like maybe 100 ravens it was kinda creepy

  • marcus

    a flock of crows is called a . im not sure about ravens though

  • marcus

    sorry it is called a

  • marcus

    it wont show the word m u r d e r

  • greg

    I have a similar situation as Val in #4 comments, he has only been in our backyard 2 days, he won’t fly but we made it possible for him to leave the yard and he did then he returned the next morning. I think he is young because it looks like mom and dad are hanging around trying to get him to fly. I live in Victorville, calif., just in case val #4 lives nearby.

  • S. Smith

    A group of ravens lives at our school. This a.m. they were alone on the playground in 30 degree weather hopping up and down in unison. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen birds do. Is this normal for ravens?

  • C. Boyce

    I am living in Germany right now and I was wondering if anyone knows where I can see ravens in their natural habit here? I am fascinated by ravens and would like to see then in their natural habitat. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • M. Kahalewai

    i have never met a raven in my life considering i live in hawaii but i had a conversation with a crow once on one of my trips to the mainland. they never leave you alone after that they just want to keep talking to you as if your part of the group.

  • Margarert Adams

    We have been feeding crows/ravens in various parking lots here in Juneau this winter. There has been so much snow and ice, we think the birds are having trouble finding food. We buy bread to feed them. I know they will eat fish, etc. Are therre any suggestions as to a less expensive food Thanks

  • Natalie Fornaris

    Do you have any information about the ravens size,

  • Natalie Fornaris

    I really think ravens are scary because my best Guy friend had one has a pet and the raven started pecking at me which I really don’t like so instead of stay at his house we went and saw a movie. A SCARY ONE!

  • Audra

    We have beautiful ravens here in Alaska. They’re HUGE.

    That’s interesting that we can’t type the word murder on here…

  • kevin

    Go Baltimore Ravens!!!!!!!!

  • Margaret

    We have had a nesting pair of ravens return to our yeard for about 10 years. It has been so amzing to see them build their nest in late winter and raise their broods. Something killed one parent this year and the second has apparently abandoned the babies. We listen to them cry for their food. It is so sad. And next year, we probably won’t have any either. I will miss them. Spring won’t be the same

  • Cathy

    Ravens love dog food. We also put out any mice we catch and they will always take them.

  • JM

    Rather than talking about how “sad” it is, Margaret, did you consider rescuing the chicks?

  • lesli ann

    Have a broken winged raven in our yard. He has survived 22 days, foraging dog food, bird seed, and any leftovers we have that the neighbors dogs don’t eat. Today he has graduated to a tree branch. The other day he was treated to a newly dead squirrel. He can run far to fast for any of us to catch. We don’t know if we should capture him and take him to a vet, or let him be. The vet said he would remove the wing. Any suggestions?

  • Ravenluver

    I agree with Jm you should rescue the birds so that they live. Bring them inside so they are warm and feed them.

  • c. swazey

    JM, if you are able to rescue the birds, please do. They need a safe haven. Feed them small bugs, ground food of any source and as they get older, they will be able to eat small pieces of left over meat, fruit, even small pieces of pizza. Give them lots of clean water and good luck!

  • Margaret

    JM, of course we considered trying to rescue them. If we could have saved them, we would have. However, they were about 60 feet up in a fir tree, which is quite unclimbable. We called a local bird rescue, (yes, we have one in our small town of 5,000) but they said there was nothing they could do. We had to go away about 3 days to a wedding. They were quiet when we returned, so we assume dead. It is the way of the wild, but we are still sad. We have seen ravens in the vacinity. We are hoping the surviving parent will remate and bring the new mate back next spring. c swazey, they had already graduated to squirrels, so small bugs wouldn’t fill any bellies. Ravens are a very large bird. The wing we found on the ground, folded as it would be against their body, measured 18 inches.

  • judah

    hey the raven is the most selfish bird,when die its body doesnt rot wow!

  • Margaret

    Actually it is drying and just the wing. A birder told me to put it in a place that is either-always cold or always hot. Then it should just dry out.

  • Mark

    We just found two ravens that fell (presumably)from the nest. I think our dog was onto the chicks so we rescued them and brought them into the garage and put them in a dog kennel. The parents seemed to calm down since we picked them up,but after a few hours, they haven’t eaten. I hope I did the right thing by picking them up.

  • Margaret

    How are they doing? Someone said dogfood might work. I know they eat raw meat in the wild.

  • Pablo

    I have had many exotic animals in my time,reptiles and large birds. I watched two Ravins build a nest this last winter. I should say they watched me watch them build a nest in a cell phone tower. I looked up at them nesting, and thought it would be nice to care and raise a ravin. Well it was tim to fly and one of the three landed fairly close to me. I’ve let it go three times. Each time it stays airborn longer and longer. The parents are trying to help it when it’s out, and maintain contact. she is very healthy. Their is more to this story if anyone is interested let me know. Thanks.

  • Margaret

    Pablo, please continue with your story. I would love to hear it.

  • Pablo

    Yesterday I changed her(kahlua)squair pole for a round one she jumped on it before I had it all the way in, she likes it. Also I put a stainless steel water bowl in her cage, and she jumped in before I closed the door! I had Kahlua out today Her mom and dad did a fly-by and they exchanged hello’s. She has a very healthy appitite. loves Tomatos, red bell pepers, caned dog food, lettuce, macarony and swiss cheese, She really loves small slices of raw beef, when I give her that she squaks and opens her mouth. I also balled up small pieces of bread then poored some caned milk on them she ate that also. Every time I see her I say hello, and i think she is starting to say hello! She is at least speeking to me a lot differantly than mom and dad. One evening when the chicks were small, or perhaps not even born yet mom and dad landed on the edge of the building accross the street from me. I was lucky enough to take some pictures of them grooming each other, with the sun setting it was like two beautifull sillowets in motion. Well tomarrow is another realease day. When her family returns from their morning hunt about ten a.m. I’LL put her in back of the truck and open the door to the cage and hope she can fly up to here home.

  • Pablo

    Last night I was changing the water as I reached for kahlua’s water bowl that she was standing next to she hoped on my hand and wrist. She started up my arm a little and look at me. I shrugged her off, When I returned she did it again. She knows that my arm is attached to my body and thats the way out. I think she is ready to joing her family. So far one has returned from the morning hunt, and they have begun to comunicate. I here her starting to talk more. Be right back. Yea three are up their. It’s time to release her I’ll let you know.

  • Pable

    Released her yesterday. She made it up to the nest. Mom and Dad seemed real happy to see her.

  • Susan

    Lesli Ann, if you still have your raven, don’t remove the wing! I’ve had one 4yrs. w/broken wing & leg and he hops around and has been able to fly 6-8ft. into the air. He was hit by car, & never thought he’d make it! They are remarkable creatures. just feed small dog food, hamburger, grapes, raisins, scrambled eggs etc. You won’t be sorry, they are beautiful!!

  • Wayne Niulrana Goose

    It’s a M*rder of Crows, a Warning of Ravens. And they also help inuit hunters, they flip barrel roll in flight, giving away the direction of Caribou, whose innards and eye balls are its favorite food.

  • Mr. snoopy

    I have a raven that been hanging around now for 2 days outside my door. it wants to come in the house, I don’t know what to do with it. it sits on our cars when we try to go some place, my wife is scared of it. If I go outside it follows me around I don’t know why. It’s huge maybe the largest I’ve seen, I gave it water it wasn’t interested in drinking or eating. What’s the deal with this bird, it’s hard to do outside work with it around, we just bought this house and have lots of yard work to do. Any suggestions and help in this matter appreciated.

    (I’ve tried to chase it away which only makes it more agressive, I’ve sprayed it with a garden hose and that does not work either. It sits at the front door trying to get inside the house.

  • Tangi

    Hi to all.
    Well I became attached to this bird, not physically but by it’s spiritual story. Reading all the story from different part of the world about this bird has amazed me in many ways.

    Well we all know that God also use this bird Raven. Why? By reading the story above I came to know that it is an intelligent bird I could say. It can survive any type of weather and no wonder Noah use the bird to look for dry land in Genesis during the flood.

    It shows how intelligent this bird is when in the 1st Kings Chapter 7. Elijah was fed by the Raven when God declares famine in Israel. Who God use to deliver the food to Elijah? None other then Raven the bird. The Raven deliver Bread and Meat to Elijah every morning and evening.I haven’t been in close contact physically with this bird , hopefully someday I will. Like the oxford dictionary say, the bird with the unpleasant voice. Indeed it is but a loving bird.

  • William Holmes

    I’m surprised Benedict of Nursia (Norsia) did not come up. A Raven supposedly saved him from eating a poisoned loaf of bread then flew away to dispose of it safely at Benedict’s direction.

  • Jen

    We havr a lot of Ravens in our neighborhood. I would like to feed them. We had Scrub Jays that we ‘made friends with’ at our old house. Can I do this with the Raven? How? Any ideas will be tried, and appreciated.

  • rooseveltp

    I am an evangelist and I have been studying about the ravens (1 kings 17), Ive gotten addicted (lol) studying about them, All these comments and stories really made my day. ive found out so much about them…..honestly, i preached about them about 7 times in the last 2 weeks…..pray for my addiction! lol

  • Lynn

    Told my neighbour that while they were away on holidays I saw the biggest raven I have ever seen, I have a fondest for crows and ravens coming from the west coast. Was deeply saddened today when this neighbour told me that she had shot it today, how sad, just like humans, don’t understand what something is so lets kill it. I am so saddened by this.

  • Sylvan

    Actually Wayne, a gathering of ravens is called an “unkindness” or sometimes a “conspiracy.” A group of crows is a murder, thats true.

  • Renee Sche

    Raven’s are magical creatures! I love the variety of Native stories, particularly the one of Raven who started out life being white. He stole back the sun which had been put in a box and turned black when he escaped with it through the smoke hole of the lodge. It is well worth reading as are the other stories about Raven. I have been fortunate to have a ’spiritual’ relationship with Raven. In my experience Ravens never hang out in groups. Their little brothers, the crows do so, and some crows can get very large. Ravens have a special voice – it is awesome to converse with one. To my knowledge Ravens also mate for life, or at least a fair number of them do so, and they are loyal. Sadly, on a quest we encountered a Raven who had been hit lying on the road. His/her mate was further up the road. Looked like he was circling back for his mate when he got hit. We honored them before moving on. [Lynn, my sympathies for the Raven who was killed!} On another quest, I saw one Raven flying/playing with several hawks. They were doing loop ‘d loops over the desert. On another quest I followed a Raven through the woods until I saw bear prints. I thought it best to return back to camp at that point. :-) I laid down for a nap in my tent and was ’sung’ to sleep by that or another Raven perching just outside my tent. Like I said, I am blessed to have met Raven! Mr. Snoopy, why not invite the Raven in (perhaps when your wife is not at home) and ask it what it wants. The Raven may have connection with the land there, and may leave once it has met its goal. I’d love to know the outcome. . . . . . R

  • Raven

    My name is Raven and the name is a great fit.

  • mini

    okk i read the poem the raven by edgar allen poe and i dont understand it at all so my teacher told me to look up what the raven means in other languages but i cant find anything

  • Gail Grabowski

    What is the differance between a Raven and a crow

  • mike

    We had a couple of ravens live near us and they where great to watch. We had 2 mid sized dogs and an 8′ fence around our property. The garage “man door” was left open so the dogs could come and go as they pleased. This was where we kept their food. We where in the garage when one raven landed right in the open doorway and started croaking. Prompting the dogs to chase it as it flew low and slow to the front of the yard then perched atop the fence croaking at the dogs. While the other came from the side, landed in the doorway looked at us and hopped in across the garage and took some of the dog food. They did this for days and we just laughed. The dogs never caught on and we never chased them off so they kept coming in.

  • richard

    what do you call a group or flock of ravens [crows are a 'murder' of crows]

  • Frank Fencer

    I came to order the “Ravens” DVD (cause I still have the VHS) but while I’m here I’d like to add what a great job PBS did on “Ravens” and after reading some of the posts (like the preacher above) perhaps to suggest to those who like raven stories check out Bob, Huey & Me (the PDF is free at http://www.theravendiaries.com)

  • Terry

    Good question Gail. I also would like to know the differance between a Raven and a Crow?

  • steve

    a flock of ravens is called an unkindness–is that correct??

  • Frank Fencer

    The some of the differences between ravens and crows; size, beak, tail, nesting areas, but more than anything is the difference in how they live and how they react to other animals. Ravens tend to be more like country folk with lots of time and room, they really seem to have fun! Crows are like ravens raised on coffee; nervous, jumpy and too wired to have fun!

  • Gail Grabowski

    Thank you Frank I see so many large black birds that (kaw) I always wonder is it a crow or a raven. Is their anything in their looks to identify them? Terry maybe Frank might help us out.

  • Frank Fencer

    Raven 3lbs / Crow 1 to 2 lbs. Raven Diamond or wedge tail / Crow tail “cut off” look. Raven “Roman nose” with top of bill curved / Crow top and bottom of bill closer to the same size. Ravens gather but more often found in pairs / Crows more “gang” oriented. Ravens more in countryside / Crows more city. Ravens lean forward when they “roc” / Crows rock up and down when they CAW! Raven makes a softer sound / Crow sound seem harsher to me. Does this help?

  • seniormaster

    I was camping near furnace creek in Dearh Valley the first part of October. I had been told that a peregrine falcon had moved into the area and was terrorizing the local bird population. The following day while walking through the campground I saw the falcon (actually a prairie falcon as opposed to a peregrine) flying slowly at about 100 feet, obviously hunting. I had been watching him for a few moments when a very large raven flew into my field of vision and struck the falcon a glancing blow from behind (”blindsided” him), tumbling him in the air. The falcon fled immediately to the nearest tree making distress calls all the way, while the raven flew on as though nothing had happened. While we have ravens around our home in central Nevada, and I’ve always known them to be large, aggressive and sometimes combative birds who love to dive on my dogs, this behavior surprised me completely. I’ve never seen anything like it. The raven appeared to be establishing a campground “pecking order” as opposed to actually trying to down the falcon, but who’s to say what his intentions really were. I know this…any bird that would attack a prairie falcon which is every bit as large and aggressive as a peregrine has my respect.

  • Frank Fencer

    Great story senioirmaster, I love to hear how ravens react with and to birds of prey. This year I was watching three chicks play not more than 5 feet from me when a peregrine attacked one of the chicks. The 2 fought it out in the air, with the baby raven doing lots of screaming. He seemed unharmed but as the falcon left the 2 adults came and drove it out of their area. They looked like WWI biplanes in combat. It was great!

  • kelly

    i’m suprised no one here mentions that it is totally illegal to keep a native crow or raven in the united states. alot of times the licensed bird rehab centers will just euthanize a permanently disabled raven or crow, so i am glad there are people giving sanctuary to these animals, but be very careful about casually announcing this to strangers on the internet! unless you want your bird taken from you and to be fined thousands of dollars…often when they confiscate the birds from outlaw rehabbers, they euthanize the animal…so please….be careful!!!!! and educate yourselves on the proper nutrition, and the laws as well….a good cat formula is a solid way to be sure your bird gets everything it needs…then lots of raw meat, eggs, and any fruits/vegetables he will take…in my experience most of the fruits and veggies are neglected, but good luck….also a calcium supplement is pretty crucial….
    blessings corvid lovers ;)

  • Bonnie

    I live in an area where ravens have taken residents. The big problems is that they attack and carry off my full grown pigeons (white ones preferably)to feed their mates and young. I don’t dare turn the pigeons loose. Ravens are protected so I have not come up with a solution to the problem. I have never had anything against them before, and find them interesting and comical to watch, but I wish they would find another habitat. It is a little hearbreaking to see them ruthlessly kill the pigeons. Our wild turkeys have to fend them off from stealing their eggs, and they( the turkeys) will go out of their way to chase the ravens off. Other wild birds in our area suffer from their egg stealing ways. Any ideas?

  • Dave

    No wonder God sent the ravins to feed the prophet Elija

  • Frank Fencer

    Question to kelly (Dec 4th); Have you heard of or know of anyone enforcing those very old and out dated laws? And if so, what parts of the country might you be talking about? It’s been my experience if one is obviously doing their best to get the animal back into the wild, most wildlife professionals even go out of their way to help.

  • Isabelle

    We have a pair of ravens at Death Valley Scottys Castle. They will open the zippers on leather saddlebags of motorcycles to get to the snacks inside. We have seen a raven take food away from one of our resident coyotes. As the animals and birds here in a National Park were here before we were, we respect their home – we are the guests here!

  • Pete

    When I die, I want to come back as a Raven and live in the Moab, Utah area !!! I have seen many amazing and amusing incidents there over the years.On my last trip, while camping in Canyonlands National Park, I took a solo hike (never a good idea in the desert) from a trailhead with no parked cars. In other words, I had the trail to myself . After about 20 minutes , I came to a steep,slippery section with lots of loose rock and few cairns (trail markers) to lead the way. Just then, a lone Raven appeared and greeted me with a squawk. I returned a hello and pondered my way down, wondering if was dangerous and foolish to venture any farther. Feeling adventurous, I said what the hell? and started down the 200 yard “trail”. Just then the Raven squawked and jumped closer to me as If to say “what?”. I continued down ,slipping and sliding and doubting myself, all the while the Ravens cries grew louder and more frequent as if it as yelling at me to stop.I finally listened to him (and my inner voice) and turned back .The Raven followed me up the cliff, to where I realized I WENT OFF THE TRAIL, (and where he appeared ) and he followed me back to my car. I thanked him for his “advice ” and escort back to my car.He squawked goodbye and flew back into the canyon. Mysterious, magical creatures !!!!!!

  • Pete

    P.S I loved reading all the Raven stories but when you write , please let us know where your story happened-what state, town country, whatever. I’ll keep reading……..

  • Chet

    I have been intrigued to read all the raven stories. Ravens have fascinated me for years. I was up in the Angelus National Forest years ago. I took a dirt road about 10 miles up a moutain off the Angeles Crest Hwy. It ended at a public campground. I was exploring the area on foot and doing a little birding, when I came upon some huge boulders with a spectacular view out toward the desert. Soaring on updrafts beyond the rocks were 6 or 8 red tail hawks and 3 or 4 ravens. I was astonished to see these birds soaring in such close quarters to each other with not the slightest sign of traditional animosity!

  • mikey

    I live in Wisconsin among 13-14 huge Burr Oak trees. Ravens roost in them and occassionally hop along my upstairs balcony railing to wake me up. I thought that I saw something unusal a couple of weeks ago looking up but the sun was in my eyes. I usually ignor them until they poop on my car then we have words.

    They were goofing around and raising Cane above me today and I looked up. Above me were 11 black ravens and in the middle of the flock was 1 white raven. I have been around the world and around ravens since I was about 9 years old and never seen a white one.

  • phil

    If only some people could be that smart.

  • Margaret

    I saw ravens overhead a few days ago. One carrying nesting sticks!! We are thrilled that the surviving raven (see very earlier posts) has mated again and is nesting. They are not redoing last year’s nest which is a disappointment, but are nearby. We haven’t actually spotted the nest so we think they are deeper into the woods that the nest by the driveway is. We shall have to go hunting this weekend to find them.


    wow there are some interesting things about ravens that i didnt know. I am super glad to see the ravens coming back and migrating and mating. ravens are a very pretty bird. And its cool how they symbolize life and death. my cousin had ravens at her wedding and she is goth. Would that mean that she is dead or that she is going to die because she is marrying a guy who doesnt even love her. And she knows it. So really what exactly would that symbolize? please help me out here.

  • Lucy

    Has anyone ever heard of Ravens cawing at sunbreak like a Rooster? Living in the CA desert and our neighbors have Roosters. Now that it’s warmer and with the recent time change, the mating Ravens sit in trees on opposite sides of propety, “cawing” back and forth at daybreak, just like a Rooster….has anyone else ever heard of this? I’ve lived around many crows, but this is specifically Rooster behavior. They do not stop until we go outside and tell them to “Shush it”. Have they mocked the Rooster next door and is there anyway to train them to stop?

  • Frank Fencer

    Yes, Lucy ravens can copy just about any sound. It’s been reported only humans produce more sounds than ravens. Park Rangers I talk to have reported many other unique sounds, including chain saws, hammering, sawing, and even latrines flushing. Ravens are also great at copying any and all animal sounds. And that’s just a start! A few years ago I remember seeing on-line an amazing story of a raven who gave human orders for the dogs to “sit” at the Tower in London. (This was discovered and reported by the Tower’s Raven Master himself.) My dealings with ravens leads me to believe they can even associate actions with sounds (I dare say words?) But the best story I’ve heard was from a gal at “Wild Things” an exotic animal reserve in Salinas, California who when closing up for the night, heard TWO people laughing and talking. After quite a while of cat and mouse, she finally found it was ONE raven teasing. As far as making them stop? I’d venture to guess once they know it “bugs” you, they probably derive great pleasure from it.

  • vtpcnk

    hey i have a wierd request : how do i keep ravens away? anything that will drive them away.

    the reason is that some pigeons have laid eggs in my balcony. some of these eggs have hatched and the ravens are after the chicks. i have piled all kinds of boxes over the pigeon nest but still the ravens are forever trying to get inside.

    if i know something which will repulse them that would be great.

    appreciate the feedback.

  • Hi

    It needs to have ravens on how do they ward off predators

  • howard labadie

    a pair of ravens, heckel and jeckel set up housekeeping in my chinmey this spring. i have observed them making a nest and now hear the babies as the adults bring in an assortment of food stuffs. i can listin to all the going on via the metal used in the construction of the chimney.so far heckel and jeckel have been good neighbors, but somewhat reserved. i look forward to watching them over the coming months as they raise the young as these ravens are the second occupents of the chinmey, the first were barn owls.

  • Megan

    My husbands a tree surgeon and he found 2 raven chicks at the bottom of a tree one was dead and the other now named ‘Bertie’ prenounced ‘Birdie’ lives with us…its amazing watching him sleep his more like a puppy than a bird,curling up and moving his head into different positions…then when he wakes he opens his mouth and hisses for his mushed up worms,then poo’s and goes bak 2 sleep AMAZING!!!

  • hannah

    yesterday i won a raven skull for archary. It is amazing how fragale they are. My dad is a hunter so he was able to tell that it was a ravens skull. real ravens make a great noise and i wish mine was real.

  • Frank Fencer

    FYI – a short video that answers the question, “How do you tell a raven from a crow?”

  • Shelly

    I live in Page , AZ. near Lake Powell and we have a breeding pair of ravens that have lived here for all of the 7 yrs. we have been here. It is all sandstone pillars and mounds of rock. They nest in a hole in the rock. After their young fledge every year, they bring them across the street to the top of the mesa. This is where they will learn to fly ( obviously, they flew across the street, but they have a long way to go before they actually know how to fly ).
    We get to watch them grow and learn and it is facinating. They have had three fledlings each year. Their parents will ” Ledge ” them everynight. It is always the same ledge….one that is too far up the steep rock, but far enough down from the mesa, that no coyote or other predator can get to them. There is always a runt, and it can never quite get it right. It will land on another ledge above them, or off to the side, where it looks like it will be sure to fall it goes to sleep ( hasn’t yet ). It is really comical, and kind of sad, to see it try so hard that it gets tired and plummits to the ground, wings flailing, only to rest for awhile, and then try again!! We live inbetween town and the garbage dump, and everynight, right before sundown, some 260 something ravens will fly back to town right over the mesa ( they like to catch the updraft off of the rocks ). It is also very interesting to watch these birds defend their territory and their young, from these juvenille birds. Happy bird watching!!!

  • shelly

    P.S. Frank….you sure seem to know alot about ravens :)

  • Grace

    I live in UK and have been awake since 4am listening to the variety of birds who live in my area. I just love the sound of the dawn chorus. I was having breakfast and heard a sort of ‘cackle’ outside so I looked to see what kind of bird made such a loud, throaty sound. There was a Raven, at least I think it was a Raven, sitting on my gate shouting it’s head off without a care in the world. It must be lovely to be a bird and to be allowed to make so much noise at such an unearthly hour. The birds round here all seem to keep one another’s company and they come for food in succession and they don’t appear to steal from each other either, there seems to be a definite ‘co-operative’ going on.

  • Ev Martenet

    I’m in Oregon right now and will be traveling back through the Southwest. How do I distinguish between a raven and a crow. We have crows in Indiana, where I’m from, but they don’t look like what I’m seeing here on the coast in large amounts.

  • melody

    look to be ravens ripped all the screens out from upper story windows, and neighbors house same, getting very aggressive a lot of damage, any suggestions on helping them move on, what is it with screens??

  • magdalene

    parliament of ravens actually…

  • Teanna Byerts

    Interesting. I had heard “parliament of owls” before. Never heard what bunch of ravens are called though.

    Bernd Heinrich wrote a couple of awesome books about his studies of ravens: Ravens in Winter, and mind of the Raven. Fun read and wonderful look into the lives of this brilliant bird. The Nature special on crows (another corvid, like ravens) is also excellent. In both the Nature: Crows episode, and in Bernd Heinrich’s Mind of the Raven, an experiment is done to test the intelligence of the birds. In the raven’s case, a piece of meat was hung on a string: the ravens sat on the perch, put a foot on the string, pulled the string up “foot over beak” and got the reward. Heinrich’s crows couldn’t figure this out at all. In the Crows episode, another scientist working with a (somewhere in the South Pacific) different species of crow (who had shown tool use) set up a nifty experiment where the crow had to get tool a off the string (he did) and use it to get tool b out of a box (he did), then use tool b to get the reward (he did). Corvids rock!

    For distinguishing between crow and raven, a good field guide (I like Peterson’s) is essential. Ravens tend to be bulkier, bigger, and “hairier” around the beak and throat. Their calls are different: both species have many kinds of calls, but ravens often have a deeper, hoarser call.

  • Liz Dugan

    I have an African Grey parrot whose cage is next to a window. She likes to make this clucking sound. Lately a gigantic raven has been hanging around…clucking just like her. He interacts with us like he’s domesticated. He hops towards us…he looks like he wants to land on us. He plays with little toys…throws them…hides them under leaves…delights when we uncover them. Yesterday he even landed on the drivers’ side mirrow as I sat in my car. Now when I hear a raven’s caw I just cluck and he comes right away…just like a dog.

  • Raven Lagrimas

    Are their advantages of ravens in our ecosystem? I really like to know.

  • nwilson

    I am terrified of ravens and crows! I love animals but for some reason, I hate those birds. Everytime I see one, maybe a week or two later, someone dies! This has happened to me about 4 times! First my brother, then a good friend of mine and then 2 other people that I knew. So maybe that’s why I hate them so much. And, they are very scary looking and HUGE!

  • Raven Lagrimas

    My name is Raven that’s why I really would like to know more about them. I had even use ravens for my research paper. I’m from Philippines that’s why I haven’t seen a real raven except for myself. :D

  • Julie Boyce

    I just found this page and have enjoyed reading everyones experience with these wonderful ravens.

    I have one that comes every morning and “talks” with me as I put out some meat or suet for him(?). This morning he did a very different sound and I wondered if anyone else has heard it or knows what it might mean. It almost sounds like a gobble and at the end he does a bill snap while spreading his tail feathers. I named him My Guy because he is the only one who seems to want contact with me out of the 5 or so around here. I live in the Colorado desert.


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  • Tara

    To nwilson, the same here. There used to be alot of ravens on my street especiall to the house across the street from me. A week or so later the guy dies who lives there. 3 Years later they are back but nosier around the utility pole near my home and I wait to see what comes of it. I live in California.

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    To the one about the screens being torn up on 2nd floor of homes. from the toy store get the cheerleader poms and cut some off and tie it to the outside of the window ledge. Anything that changes will sometimes cause them to fear it and leave it alone. They are very detail oriented and notice new things in the enviroment. Windshield wipers were another one I read about being torn off cars.
    Im getting my baby raven in July, in three months. Have been on a waiting list for 10 months so far. I also have many that I feed in the backyard. A high protein dog chow, plus chicken heart and livers, cut meats, beef, and fresh cow lard, various nuts and seeds, and they love a boiled egg and they only eat the yolk, never the white. They will not eat fruit. I have noticed though that their diets change with the seasons. The jays favorite for instance is pine nuts. Very expensive. Crows and ravens like to dip there food in water. They even dip there lard in it. They do this all the time.
    I would also like to let you know that if you get a very young bird of any species, they will imprint on humans if a human is taking sole care of it. If they imprint on you it is very dificult to set them free due to them not having the knowledge to know how to feed themselves or to watch out for hawks and owls. They have less of a chance of survival when they are raised then released by humans. If they are going to be surely killed then I dont think the alternative would be any worse to take them in. Better chance at survival, but if you take one that otherwise would have been cared for by its family, its doing a great diservice to them. You can purchase one for aprox $2,000.00 dollars hand fed and it is from africa. Bred and raised here of course. They require alot of time as they are very social birds and it hurts them emotionally very much to be left alone. It truly does. They get depressed. They also cannot climb like a parrot does so you cannot clip there wing feathers like a parrot. They have to have a flight cage that is very large indoors or free flight in the home and also need 6 hours of sunlight a day so that there bodys can digest the vitamin for there bone strenght. Ope have to go.

  • Sandy H.

    I am so glad that I have found this page. Everytime that I try and tell anybody about the adventures of Bob & Maximo they look at me as if I’m crazy.
    I live in central Florida and about a month ago my 2 year old Chihuahua (Maximo) started spending an excessive amount of time in our fenced in backyard. Then one day I noticed Max running in and out of the house as if he was trying to get me to follow him, so I did. To my surprise standing in the middle of my yard was the biggest, raven that I had ever seen. I followed Max outside and he then went running at the bird. I tried to stop him but he was too fast. For the next 10 minutes I watched the cuttest thing that I have ever observed. Everytime that Maximo would reach the raven, the bird would just jump over him. He would land on the ground and they would repeat this over and over again. OMG they are playing together. So now every morning the raven (Bob) sits on the fence outside my back door making a very loud almost barking sound until I open the door and let his buddy Max out to play. Every morning about 8:00 I let Max out and watch him and Bob walk around the backyard together then they start playing and I go in to fix some food. I bring them each a bowl of food. When I come out I yell that breakfast is ready and they both come running and flying. I put Max’ bowl on the ground and Bob’s bowl up on the fence. Every morning I start the day out with a big smile because I get to watch these two friends eat breakfast together.

  • Steven

    When I was about 15, I was walking home from school through an unused parking lot. I came across a perfect circle of 12-13 crows on the pavement. In the exact center of the circle was a sick or injured crow… they were all cawing at him as if he was a criminal.

    In a split second, before I even had time to think, I was running at the ‘criminal’ crow with the intention of killing it. Now I wasn’t the kind of teenage boy who took pleasure out of killing animals… far from it. But for some reason I was just filled with a need to ‘do justice’ against this ‘criminal’. It was the strangest gut-level reaction.

    So I ran so fast that I was able to kick this poor crow as it was just starting to fly… it died instantly.

    The other crows all seemed very pleased with this and followed me home they were around for a week and finally left. It was a very strange experience. I am now a 43 year old man and have had a life-long attachment and fondness for crows and especially ravens.

    I have seen them do many amazing things including large raven gatherings (which are rare) where one group would come through and a raven would stay behind for 10 minutes until the next group came… then he would show them which way the others had gone and another raven would wait for the next group to come along and the process repeated.

    Last week I took my kids to Disneyland and a repeat of the first story happened–but this time I didn’t join in. I was coming out of the spinning tea cup ride with my 7 year old son and I looked down and saw and injured or sick crow. He was shaking (it seemed like he was shaking with fear) and looking up at the tree tops. Sure enough there was a perfect circle of crows in positions in the trees around him. I took my son and left–the little guy didn’t notice the bird and I didn’t want to spoil his Disney dream. I know in my heart those crows finished the job and killed that ‘criminal’ or whatever they saw him as.

    Ravens and crows are amazing creatures. I have the greatest respect for them and know I will never unravel their mysteries.

  • David

    Enjoyed raven stories. Perhaps on PBS, but definitely nature TV show about 2ys ago dealing with ravens, was amazed by 3 accounts presented: 1. Unlike most birds who flee an area when hunting season is on, ravens will fly TOWARDS the sound of the gunshot, locate the body and await the hunters taking the meat; then descend to eat the nutritional entrails, often leading other ravens to the carcass; 2. more humorous: a.) one group of N.W. ravens found pig farm; then decided to take “bucking pig” rides by jumping on the back of the pig near the withers and pecking the pig on the back of the head. Pig started jumping like a bucking bronco. If the pig stopped, the raven gave it another peck – all caught on film and hilarious; b.) at last light as final bit of fun, they would often go up to heights of 500-1000 ft; fold their wings and take a high speed plunge towards the forest canopy as last “daily adventure”; knew how to slowly open wings to “pull out of the dive just in time”; then roosted for the night. Long live the raven!

  • Erica S

    I live in Australia and would like to know where I can find a site that gives me information on the family structure and dynamics of the raven. I believe it is quite complex, with several generations, like an extended family. If anyone could pass on anything to help me I would be very grateful.

  • nedra

    Luv all the stories! Here’s mine. In 1993 I was facilitating a walk about with a group of young men who were looking at jail time if they weren’t able to change some destrcutive behavior patters. We were on day 4 of our hike and I had retired to a quiet wooded spot for some much needed meditation. I was asking for assistance in knowing I was where I was supposed to be; a newly recovering female from the country in a group of angry young urbanite men. Just as I was despairing of an answer a dense fog decended on my clearing. I sat in the cool cloud and heard a whoosh, like a helicopter blade. Out of the mist materialized three ravens, flying at the exact hight of my sight (I was seated on teh ground). One flew just past my face and one above my head while the other flew behind me. They landed on the tree limb I was leaning against. They just sat and looked at me. I was afraid to breath, but then they all let out a breath and edged closer together. I relaxed and the four of us sat there for about 15 minutes. I bathed in their quiet strength, and was filled with gratitude. I finished the quest with a renewed sense of purpose. I’m sure I got more out of the experience than the young men, and I am grateful to all of the people I met on that trip, two-legged, four-legged, flying and swimming.

  • Carol

    I have rescued several fledglings until they were ready to fly. From my research they are grounded for sometime until they are able too fly.

    This last raven had a broken wing so the vet said it was in a lot of pain and need to be put down or amputate the wing. I had the wing amputated and now the quills keep growing back and keep breaking off. I then have to stop the bleeding and the vet says the quills will keep growing back, so I will need to pull them as they start to grow. I am taking Sissy to the vet tomorrow so he can see if there is anything he can do. So I am hoping all goes well.

    Sissy must have been a flier before her accident. She is always looking to the sky at the flying birds and seems to miss the ravens that are flying near. (the two other ravens I had didn’t seem to show much interest & would jump & perch on my arm after getting used to me) I know Sissy has gone thru alot but is very frantic and stressed when I need to put her in her cage or catch her. At least she is starting to hop in her cage on her own now.

    I am hoping at some point to find someone who has OTHER RAVENS & A LOT OF PATIENTS AND IS WILLING TO TAKE EXCELLENT CARE of Sissy so she can live in a social environment with friends. I live in the High Desert, CA. you can contact me at talk2_carol@yahoo.com

  • Ann

    There are tons of ravens or crows around here. There are also hawks. When the hawk kills a squirrel or other rodent, etc., the ravens gang up on the hawk and try to force the hawk to give up the prey.

    Once I saw them chasing an owl for an entire weekend.

    When you hear alot of the squacking, that means they are trying to chase away another bird, usually a predator.

    I love to mimic their squacks. I’m not sure what they think of it.

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  • Chris Painter

    in 1977 I worked in Thule Greenland, and saw huge Ravens there. I saw one land on a cross pole between two telephone poles, that was only a few feet away, so I had something to gauge it’s size by. He had to have been 3 feet tall, with a wing span of 5-6 feet? The people who had been there a long time claimed that they got a lot bigger than that! And that they would pick up the Archies (Artic Fox), and drop them from way up. But I can’t find any info on these huge birds!

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  • Alan

    I am trying to find out relevant information about the behaviour of ravens, that might help me to understand the reason why Noah chose the raven to send out from the Ark. Can anyone help?

  • Lorraine

    We found a young raven in our backyard approximately a week ago. I had been feeding it, and lots of water around. It initially flew from our backyard to our front yard, and then in the backyard where it stayed. It was so beautiful and would follow me around the yard, and wait at the back door each morning for feeding, but of course I fed it more than once. This morning it was at the back door again, but it didn’t look well as it previously had. I decided to take it to a specialised vet who handles wildlife, but unfortunately it has just passed away. We had previously thought it might have a broken wing, but it didn’t; I just feel so, so, sad that I wasn’t able to help it. I’m regretting not taking it to the vet’s earlier, but honestly thought it was okay. I will miss him so much; It was so intelligent, even at it’s very young age which was about three to four months. A beautiful bird.

  • eleni valentijn

    how have this on dvd for me
    iam lifing in holland.
    and iam have a raven.
    ravens are mijn favite animals
    please help me

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  • George Stapleford

    Yesterday (11/10/11) I heard what sounded like a very fast woodpecker in my back yard, much faster than the local ones (No. Utah). I went out to look, and then heard “burbling” sounds, as though you were pulling an octopus off glass (sort of hollow popping). When I got out back, there was a pair of ravens (I believe, not being able to tell the difference from crows) in my biggest tree. The “popping” was coming from one of them, and I suppose the very rapid clicking as well. Does this identify them as ravens? I’ve only heard crows “cawing”.

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  • Eric Vuyani

    2nd of December 2006 three raven keep blocking my hopping in front of me as though they want me to turn around.I carry on walking along the pathway as they kept on crowing and moving ahead of me (from ground to light poles and back to the ground).They did this for about 10 minutes.To cut the long story short,that was the day I got involved in a critical car accident while I was on duty.My life was completely changed because of that accident.I almost lost everything I had achieved in my life.
    I should have turned around when I felt like it.Those birds mean business!

  • Klara Ostroot

    We have an outdoor rink at Bear Mountain. That’s where my son learned to skate, lots of really good memories.

  • Janelle

    In 2005 I drove into the parking lot of the company I worked for and noticed a raven on top of a car pecking at something. I parked and watched what he was doing. I’ve never seen anything like it before but he had a nut placed in the door jamb of the car pecking at it. He would pick it up, turn it around and place it back into the door jamb of this car and continue pecking it. That was the moment I realized just how intelligent ravens are. I’m so bummed I didn’t get a video or picture of the event but that was before handy little smart phones. I’ve been trying to find a video or pictures of a raven doing this with no luck. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen and one of the most memorable too. I have the upmost respect for these beautiful birds.

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  • mattie

    I know someone who has a raven. They report that wwhen he thinks its bedtime he will squak til his “dad” takes him to his cage. His fav saying is “Dad loves his bird.” He has a wide vocabulary and they had to teach it not to use bad words. Amazing stories on here.

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  • Bette

    Yesterday afternoon, I was out doing my hike (4KM) which I’ve done almost everyday. There was no one else on the trails, and it is pretty thick forest (Northwestern Ontario) Out of no where, this raven landed on a tree beside me, and I was on my last km, so was doing a slow jog, he kind of startled me, and it was like OK what do you want. I kept on going, and he followed me, making those throaty noises they make, he would fly about a foot over my head, and land about 10′ ahead of me, it was kind of creepy, but I kept going and he followed and then would fly ahead of me, all the way to my truck. Someone thought this might be an omen, hopefully a good one. Any comments???? I had visions of falling and having my eyes pecked out! LOL

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  • CrazyLunaticman

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  • Adam

    I saw a RAVEN give a LION a heart…They won’t use you or leave a injured…They warn you only to lead you– out of your fear…..if you earned there trust,,they will never leave you even if you cause them pain,,,,don’t ever cage a bird, that you think can’t fly can fly,,,they will always fly back to you…..Always show the RAVEN it has wings,,,,and it will forever be there for you….and they are “she’s” not “he’s”….

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  • larrvy

    dont you know that ravens are known as “THE BLACK DOVE” and they are biger than the crow ? well,all of these words that i am saying might be TRUE OR NOT.but my favorate bird is this bird that we are talking about the RAVEN and it is because,they are black,big,scary,and WILD.

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    I see thy wisdom is required, thow thoughts must be released.My friends who have chosen the wild as their sanctuary have shown loyal to all.Kind,fair,loyal,wise,watchful, and legend are only few traits of corvus corax and many other of te royal family of the raven.We are one of proud creatures with legend never myth why thow children on Earth feel shadowed by my unique friends they must see they’re accually being enlightened.See I have chosen since my age of 3 to align myself with humans,animals,plants,and the unverse itself.Everyone is but one in the same it is simple to understand everything here and more.But only if chosen shall one acheive the knowledge of sync with their suroundings I’m still but younger than all writting yet I have gained wisdom of all and more I am 15 I whisper to animals and they respond.I’ve whispered to plants and they respond.I feel as if holding holly wings of the angels of darkness and light.I am somewhat supernatural,you see I have been animal plant and human I have awed at the moon in it’s full in a deep forest with my pack around me.I’ve drank the sunlights healthy rays.Been soothed by gental rays of sun and moon holding me together.

  • Richard

    I live in SE Arizona. We have ravens that nest in the oaks at the end of our pasture. I have a problem every year with the ravens “dipping” their dead meat in the horse’s water trough. The problem is they fowl the water, often leaving the entails of their meals in the water. Of course in our summer heat by the end of the day the water is pretty fowl. I would like to know why they do this and does anybody have any ideas how I can still let the horses and burros get to the water but keep the ravens out. They are a hoot except that they eat baby birds but do help with snakes.

  • Pat

    From what I have read so far, some ravens like to dip their food in water before eating it , and they like clean water. Read all the above information posted at this website, you may learn something of value.

    I’ve never paid much attention to the habits of birds, but I find all printed here to be very interesting. Sounds like Ravens are intelligent birds and may be fun to have around.

  • DW

    I would like to hear an answer to Melody’s question from 7/21. We live in the mountains of Montana, and came home one evening to find our screens ripped apart. We thought it was a bear. Come to find out it is a pair of Ravens that are causing much destruction. They fave even broken the first pane of glass on our double paned windows in the kitchen. Screens on five other windows are shredded. I hate to say this, but if there is no good answer to detering these birds,I will be forced to exterminate them.

  • Raven

    Being Native American I have always known that the raven is one of the most powerful birds. In my Native beliefs the raven is a totem animal. Everywhere I have lived (excpet Hawaii) I have had at least one mated pair close to me. When my husband deployed I had one older male raven that would sit on my window seal every morning to wake me up. When I was sad and cried he would sit on the fence above me and I felt a sense of calmness. Since moving to Hawaii I have been so sad. There hasnt been a raven on the island of Oahu in over 150 years. The Hawaiians are scred of them. When I talk about them to friends and family I here they call them the bird of death. I would love to have a mated pair around me again. I am not sure how I feel about having them “captured”; however, having a rescued pair would be amazing. I miss the sound of their voice and the calmness they bring. They are the most majestic bird and mate for life. To Bette… That raven was protecting you on your run and perhaps thought you needed a running compainion. The raven is not from the depths of hell and are not the harbinger of doom they are protectors and guides. That is how the Nativer American’s feel. Thank you for making this pasge. I hope you add more facts and photos soon.

  • Jersey Girl

    I I lost my eldest son back in 1986, and I also had a black lab which we named Raven,the best dog I ever to joiin our family. In 1991 we bought a 28′ Carver boat, and my husband and I could not come up with a name for our boat. Well we were working on it on day in 1991 before we put it into the water and along came a “Black Bird” or a “Raven” which I did not know the difference. This bird flew onto my car which was parked right in front of the Boat on Dry land. This bird jumped into my car, picked up the lighter and carried it in his mouth to the back of the car. I could not get over what was happening, then he hopped around and was on top of the hood just hanging out. My husband said “Don’t touch it as it might be sick or something”, but I was not the least bit afraid. Someone else was working on his boat accross the way so I walked over to him to ask if the yard has a “pet” bird, he was under his boat, and as he responded, “no” he said “The one behind you?” Yes, he had followed me over about 50 ft. I walked back and told my husband. When we left the boat the bird was sitting on top of the bridge, just hanging out. My other son was going to meet us there to see the boat for the 1st time, but did not arrive until after we left When he got home, I asked if he saw a bird and he said, “the one sitting on top”? I said yes. He said that it flew away right after he got there. Meantime I told this story to my brother and another few weeks he called me and told me that he had repeated this story and was told by a older women that if it was a Raven, that they are the soles of a loved one, and might appear to a loved one on a special day, well what I failed to mention was that on this day-it was the first mother’s day that I had lost my eldest son! Whether it is true or not, I believe this was my beloved son telling me that he was with me on that special day. Also, today is my youngest son’s birthday, June 3rd, and this morning sitting out back, a larger black bird, I like to think my Raven flew right over me into the tree next to me. You have to be a believer! And, yes we named the boat Raven 11

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