Corvus Corax- Common Raven

Corvus Corax- Common Raven found in the US

The common raven, Corvus corax, commonly referred to as the western raven or northern raven when discussing raven subspecies, is a big all-black passerine bird. It is the most extensively dispersed corvid species, occurring throughout the Northern Hemisphere. At least eight subspecies exist, each with a distinct look, however, a recent study has revealed substantial genetic diversity across populations from diverse places. Along with the thick-billed raven, it is one of the two biggest corvids and potentially the heaviest passerine bird at maturity.

Quick Overview: Corvus Corax- Common Raven
Body size: Around 24-26 in (61-66 cm) and a weight of 1224 g (4
Main colors: Black
Range: Western and Eastern part of United States
Migratory Bird: No
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Common Raven Description

Ravens, sometimes referred to as common ravens are huge, blackbirds with wedge-shaped tails. They have a well-developed ruff of feathers on their throats known as ‘hackles,’ which they frequently employ for social communication. They may be recognized from other Corvus species by their huge size, wedge-shaped tail, powerful beak, proclivity for soar and glide, and frequent, loud, croaking sounds. Males and females are typically similar; however, females may be somewhat smaller.

Corvus Corax- Common Raven found in the US
Corvus Corax- Common Raven. Photo by: Franco Folini


These birds have a length of 24-26 in (61-66 cm) and a weight of 1224 g (43.2 oz). Their wings could range from 46-56 in (117-142 cm).


Ravens are mostly scavengers. They consume a variety of animal items, including arthropods, amphibians, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and carrion. They are drawn to carrion and consume insects that feed on it (chiefly on maggots and beetles). Additionally, they have been observed eating the afterbirth of sheep and other big animals. Grains, acorns, fruits, and buds are all examples of vegetable foods. According to stomach studies, the diet is mostly composed of mammalian meat, followed by insects and birds. Common ravens forage on the ground and cache a variety of goodies, including nuts, bones, eggs, and meat. Soon after leaving the nest, young ravens begin experimenting with storing edible and non-edible things.


Ravens enjoy open habitats such as treeless tundra, seacoasts, open riverbanks, rocky cliffs, mountain forests, grasslands, deserts, and scrubby woods. However, save for rainforests, these ravens may be found in a wide variety of settings. In North America, common ravens are more likely to be found in natural regions, but their relatives, common crows, are more likely to be found in places with more human habitation. They have developed a strong affinity for people in various sections of their habitat and can be found in metropolitan settings.


The common raven is well-known for its intellect and intricate social dynamics. They appear to be capable of developing novel solutions to previously experienced situations. Common ravens feed in large groups in locations with concentrated resources, and non-breeding animals may roost communally, although ravens are most frequently found alone or in couples. Breeding pairs construct nesting territories that vary in size according to the area’s resource density. Although common ravens do not migrate, groups on the outside of their range may make shorter seasonal moves to avoid harsh weather.

Corvus Corax Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Corvus
  • Species: Corvus corax

Other common names

They are also known or referred to as the western raven or northern raven.

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Common Raven in the USA

From the Aleutian Islands, northern Alaska, and northern Canada south to the western United States to Minnesota, the Great Lakes, and New England; also found in the Appalachians and northwestern Georgia.

The Common Raven can be found in the following states in the United States – Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Hawaii

Corvus Corax- Common Raven

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