Ravens Definition | Characteristics & Facts



Ravens Definition

Ravens are large, black-colored birds belonging to the genus Corvus, which is part of the crow family, Corvidae. They are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and striking appearance.

Ravens General Characteristics & Facts


Ravens are large birds with a length of about 24-27 inches (61-69 cm) and a wingspan of 46-56 inches (117-142 cm).


Adult ravens lack plumage, which can sometimes appear glossy or iridescent, reflecting shades of purple or blue.


Ravens are highly intelligent birds and are considered among the most intelligent animals in the world. They have demonstrated problem-solving abilities and can use tools to obtain food.


Ravens are known for their wide range of vocalizations, which include deep croaks, caws, gurgles, and clicks.


Ravens are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, mountains, coastal regions, and urban areas.


Ravens are omnivorous, meaning they eat a diverse diet. They consume small animals like insects, rodents, and birds, as well as fruits, grains, and carrion (dead animals).


In the wild, ravens can live for about 10-15 years, but some have been known to live longer, reaching up to 20-30 years in captivity.

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Physical Characteristics Ravens

  1. Size: Ravens are relatively large birds, with an average length of 24-27 inches (61-69 cm) and a wingspan of 46-56 inches (117-142 cm).
  2. Plumage: Adult ravens have entirely black plumage, which appears glossy and iridescent, reflecting shades of purple or blue when seen in the right light. This distinguishes them from crows, which are similar in appearance but tend to have a more matte black coloration.
  3. Beak: Ravens have large and powerful beaks with a slightly curved shape. The beak is sharp and designed for tearing and consuming a variety of foods, including carrion, fruits, insects, and small animals.
  4. Feathers and Tail: Ravens have long, pointed wings that allow them to be agile fliers. Their tails are wedge-shaped and appear somewhat diamond-like when spread.
  5. Eyes: The eyes of ravens are relatively large and are usually dark brown in color. Their keen eyesight aids them in hunting and locating food.
  6. Throat Hackles: Ravens often have long, shaggy feathers around their throat region, giving them a somewhat “bearded” appearance.
  7. Feet and Toes: Ravens have strong feet with four toes, three pointing forward and one backward. Their feet are adapted for perching and grasping objects, including food.
  8. Vocal Apparatus: Ravens have a complex vocal apparatus that enables them to produce a wide range of sounds, including caws, croaks, gurgles, clicks, and whistles. Their vocalizations are an essential part of their communication and social behavior.
  9. Gender Dimorphism: Male and female ravens generally look similar, but males tend to be slightly larger than females on average.
  10. Juvenile Plumage: Juvenile ravens have brownish-black plumage with lighter markings. They gradually develop the solid black adult plumage as they mature.
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Scientific Classification of Ravens

Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)

Phylum: Chordata (Chordates)

Class: Aves (Birds)

Order: Passeriformes (Perching Birds)

Family: Corvidae (Crows, Ravens, Jays, Magpies, etc.)

Genus: Corvus Species:

Key Locations of Ravens

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • North Africa
  • Australia (Australian raven – Corvus coronoides)
  • Middle East
  • Siberia
  • Iceland (rare vagrant)

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FAQS Ravens

What do Ravens eat?

  • Carrion
  • Small Animals
  • Fruits
  • Seeds and Grains
  • Human Waste
  • Invertebrates
  • Fish
  • Food Sharing
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