Saturday, 26 June 2010

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

Adult Raven (subspecies C. c. corax) at St. Bee's Head, Cumbria - April 2014

OTHER NAMES: Raven, Northern Raven, Corbie
Featured Subspecies -
Corvus corax corax
Weight: 165-230g
Length: 24-33cm
Wingspan: 50-73cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Raven is not only the largest passerine in the UK, but also, along with another species of Raven, the World. It is a huge, impressive bird which without close inspection might resemble a crow - it is however substantially larger (being bigger than a buzzard) and has a distinctive wedge shaped tail in flight. The other two major signs are the very heavy set bill compared to the other crows (which can be seen in my photograph) and more dramatically, it's "kronking" call which though not necessarily one of the most pleasant calls, is in my opinion one of the most powerful and dramatic calls, especially if you are walking on a high hillside somewhere. As for photography - the fact it's a big bird helps, just getting a good view is the challenge - unfortunately my first bird was seen as dusk with bad lighting.

As a side note, I have also recently seen a pair of Raven's over Geddington - given that these bird's have only just started to re-establish in the county after an absence of a hundred years, I hope this results in them breeding around the village in the coming years.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus

Subspecies: C. c. principalis, C. c. sinuatus, C. c. clarionensis, C. c. varius, C. c. corax, C. c. hispanus, C. c. laurencei, C. c. subcorax, C. c. tingitanus, C. c. canariensis, C. c. tibetanus, C. c. kamtschaticus  

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A local but increasing resident breeding species (7400 pairs)
 - A locally reasonably common species seen at Trevose HeadSt. Bee's Head, Derwent Water, and Haweswater. Roaming birds encountered once in Geddington

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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