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Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
The Trickster on lookout for unguarded backpacking food in the Grand Canyon

General Description: Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are large, all-black birds (to 24 inches total length) with a long, delta-shaped tail, a large heavy bill, and a shaggy ruff of feathers around the throat.

Ravens are desert birds that usually fly in pairs or small family groups. American Crows, with which they are often confused, are smaller, more social, and fly in great flocks in agricultural areas. However, I did see one great flock of ravens in the White Mountains of California where we estimated that some 10,000 ravens were flying together and settling in for the night to roost in a Pinyon-juniper forest. I have no idea what so many ravens were doing, and I've never heard of such a thing elsewhere.

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Corvidae.

Common Raven (Corvus corax) Comments: By human standards, Common Ravens are considered the smartest of all birds. Native peoples called them "Trickster," and lost or misplaced items were often blamed on the Trickster. They are playful and often turn over and fly up-side-down. They can also be bold and aggressive when defending their nests or when trying to get food from campers.
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Ravens do fairly well around human habitations in desert regions because they are adept at scavenging food from around homes and dumps, and because they fly along roads and pick up roadkill carrion (dead animals). While most species decline in numbers when humans move in, Common Raven numbers probably are higher now than before. This is good for Ravens, but they predate other species, so overall it might not be a good thing. Some people blame Common Ravens for the decline in Desert Tortoise and advocate killing them because they eat tortoise hatchlings, but the concern is overblown.
Common Raven (Corvus corax) If you were just about anything edible, this might be the last face you ever see!
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven; note the deltoid tail
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven with heavy bill and shaggy neck feathers
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven
Common Raven (Corvus corax), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Common Ravens harassing a Red-tailed Hawk
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Ravens often nest in high-tension electrical towers.
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Close-up of Common Raven nest in tension electrical tower.
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common Raven (Corvus corax) Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Large, strong feet
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Large footprint of a Common Raven in sand
more to come ...
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Raven nestling hunkered down in a stick nest on the side of a cliff
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Four Common Raven nestlings in stick nest in a cottonwood tree
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Nest on red sandstone cliff
more to come ...
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 161003

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