RAVEN

(Corvus corax)

raven eggs
raven
Raven is an Alpine bird. A member of the Corvus genus. Both genders are equally black – they have strong black legs and a strong black beak. They can become 60 cm long and they live in forests situated on altitudes of 3000m and more. Their wings spread is 150cm. During the winter, when there is a food shortage, they go to lower altitudes – alpine valleys

Since we have ravens in captivity, even ravens from the wild came to our Zoo – we didn´t notice them before. Our zoo is surrounded by vast forests of old trees – ideal for ravens. Now they also live in Pomurje.
Ravens have light black, blue feathers and a strong beak. If in the right lighting, their black feather can turn into greenish. They are excellent gliders, their sound is caw, caw. Crows are very sociable – many people want them for a pet. They are excellent singers and interesting birds. Ravens can clearly and loudly say some words and they are - as our writer Erjavec says – wise, cautious, cunning and sly. The raven and the fox symbolise the same values.
Young ravens live together but are individualists during the mating season. During the mating, the couple has its own territory. In captivity, they live up to 40 years, in nature 10-15 years.

Breeding:

The mating couple needs its territory. The size of the territory depends on the food resources. These sources are being heavily defended during the nesting period. A nest is a deep bowl made of sticks and branches, intertwined with roots, mud, and bark. The bottom of the nest is filled with softer materials (hair, wool, moss…). They make their nests on rock ledges or in treetops. In March or April, the male hatches 4-6 eggs – pale blue-green colour. They sit on them 18-21 days. Only the female sits on them, however; even males can sit on hatched offspring. The offspring stay with their parents up to 6 months after insemination. The offspring are with their parents for 2-3 years.

Nourishment:

They are omnivores – they like to eat other birds´ offspring and carrion. They are birds of prey and are very resourceful when it comes to finding food. They like berries, seeds, insects, fruit, small animals. There are cases when they attacked a lamb.

Interesting:

In the wild, there are species of albino (completely white) ravens. Due to their eating habits, they cause a lot of harm to people. That is why they are being hunted. They are a protected species. If you wish to breed them (under special conditions) you need to get the approval of the ministry in charge. Ravens like to steal shiny things (stones, jewellery...)
They have the largest brains among all birds. They are being mentioned in many mythological stories, often even in the Holly Bible.



Dusan Kreslin
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