Common Raven - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Raven - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Raven - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Raven - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Mountain Nature Network has become THE place for learning about the birds of the Canadian Rockies.

Common Raven
Corvus corax

Jays and Crows
Corvid Family (Corvidae)

Size: Length: 54-68 cm Wingspan: 94 cm

Description: The raven is an exceedingly common sight in the mountains, often resulting in expressions of amazement at their large size. They are a very large, black bird with a heavy bill. Beneath the beak, there is often a ruff of loose feathers along the upper breast. In flight, their tail is wedge shaped.

Similar Species: The raven is often mistaken for the much smaller American crow, but its large size, heavy bill and wedge-shaped tail help distinguish the two.

Range: They are a well adapted bird, that can be found throughout Canada and much of the U.S. They are a common year-round resident throughout the Rockies.

Habitat: They are very diverse in their choice of habitats, preferring rolling or hilly country as well as seaside habitats.

Diet: They eat almost anything they can get their beak into. They feed on carrion, helping the wily coyote clean up after road and predator kills. They also eat insects, small mammals, eggs, nestlings, seeds and garbage. Any garbage left out in the mountains will quickly find a flock of ravens spreading it all over the yard. They seem to have an innate sense of where food can be found, and once a single raven is on the scene, others will quickly follow.

Nesting: They build their nest in coniferous trees, or along the edges of cliffs or canyons (Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park is a good example). The nest is quite large, as is the raven, and is made of a loose mass of twigs, branches, and stems, lined with softer materials. Both parents build the nest, and the female lays between 3 and 7 olive-brown to buff speckled eggs. Incubation is by the female, with the male bringing her food. Hatching occurs after 20-21 days, and the altricial young are fed by both parents. They fledge after 5-6 weeks.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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