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Uploaded on on Jul 16, 2021


A raven is one of the genus Corvus’s larger-bodied birds. Within the genus, these species do not represent a single taxonomic group.

There is no clear distinction between “crows” and “ravens,” and these terms have been used to various species mostly based on their size, with crows being smaller than ravens.

The common raven (Corvus corax) is a big all-black passerine bird that is sometimes known as the western raven or northern raven when discussing raven subspecies. It is the most extensively dispersed of the corvids, being found across the Northern Hemisphere. Although recent study has revealed considerable genetic variations across populations from diverse areas, there are at least eight subspecies with little diversity in appearance.

The common raven, along with the thick-billed raven, is one of the two biggest corvids and arguably the heaviest passerine bird; at maturity, it is 63 centimetres (25 inches) in length and weighs 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds). Although their average lifetime is much lower, common ravens can survive up to 23 years in the wild, which is only surpassed by a few Australian species such as the satin bowerbird and probably certain lyrebirds among passerines. Young birds fly in groups, but they eventually marry for life, with each married couple protecting its own territory.

For thousands of years, common ravens have coexisted with humans, and in certain regions, they have become so abundant that they are considered pests. Their omnivorous diet contributes to their survival as a species: they eat carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, nesting birds, and food waste, among other things.


The common raven is exceptionally clever, as evidenced by some remarkable problem-solving accomplishments. It has been the topic of mythology, folklore, art, and literature for ages. The common raven has long been venerated as a spiritual figure or godlike creature in many civilizations, including Scandinavian indigenous cultures, ancient Ireland and Wales, Bhutan, the northwest coast of North America, and Siberia and northeast Asia.

The brown-necked raven (C. ruficollis), the pied crow (C. albus) of Africa, and the Chihuahuan raven (C. cryptoleucus) of the American Southwest are the closest cousins of the common raven. While some authorities have identified up to 11 subspecies, others have only identified eight:

The common raven developed in the Old World and made its way to North America through the Bering land bridge. Recent genetic analyses of common ravens from throughout the world showed that the birds are divided into at least two clades: a California clade found solely in the southwestern United States, and a Holarctic clade found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Both clades of birds have similar appearances, yet they are genetically different and diverged around two million years ago.

The findings show that common ravens from the rest of the United States are more closely related to those in Europe and Asia than those in the California clade, and that common ravens in the California clade are more closely related to the Chihuahuan raven (C. cryptoleucus) than those in the Holarctic clade, based on mitochondrial DNA.

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