The Raven…Calls Nevermore And So Much More

By  | November 13, 2017 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

The raven is a symbolic figure in numerous Native American legends. In some indigenous groups, tales portray the raven as being mischievous and an evil omen. In the Pacific Northwest, Native American mythology depicts the raven in a positive light, as being the creator of the world.

But did you know there is a difference between a raven and a crow?

Although both are members of the “Corvus” genus, a.k.a., the crow family, and can be found throughout North America and other parts of the world, there are notable differences between the two:

Ravens are larger, about the size of a red-tailed hawk. Crows are similar in size to a dove.
Ravens have longer middle tail feathers. When extended for flight the tail feathers appear to be wedge-shaped. A crow’s tail feathers are all the same length. Thus when spread open, the crow’s tail feathers appear fan-shaped.
Ravens have larger, thicker, curved beaks, which are stronger than crows’ beaks.
Ravens are often seen alone or in pairs, while crows often fly and feed in a group, referred to as a murder.
Unlike crows with their distinctive cawing sound, the raven’s call is a deep, croaking sound. Listen to the raven’s call here.
The raven’s lifespan is between 25 and 30 years, but they have been known to live up to 45 years. Crows usually live to 8 years, but can live longer when raised in captivity.

But did you know Ravens can talk and sing. They have a vast repertoire of 100 or more vocalizations. With their deep voice, ravens can mimic human speech and singing, birds-raven-what-a-solitary-magnificent-birdand can imitate other bird sounds. They call to inform their mate to join them when food is found and they are very intelligent.   These clever and cunning birds often work as a pair to acquire food. One raven will lure a parent bird away from its nest, while the other swoops in to feed on the eggs or hatchlings. Ravens have been known to call and lead wolves to a carcass to tear through the tough animal hide, so it can easily dine on the soft innards. These smart birds have been known to pull an ice fisherman’s line up from the icy waters and dine on the caught fish.

Ravens can imagine being spied upon by a hidden competitor, showing a capacity for abstraction once thought to be exclusively human, according to a new study.

Scientists have shown that the birds take extra care to hide food if they suspect their movements are being monitored by another raven, even when the second bird is not actually there.

Young ravens are known to form and break alliances, demonstrating “social flexibility”. As adults, they typically defend territory and live in long-term monogamous relationships.

 

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