The Common Raven is one of the most widespread naturally occurring birds in the world. This raven is widely known for being a scavenger on animal carcasses and human garbage. Native Americans of the Northwest think of ravens as being the creator of earth, moon, sun, and stars, but also think of them as a trickster and cheater. Poets and authors of Western cultures have often used the raven in media to symbolize death, danger, and wisdom.
Common Ravens are usually either solitary or in pairs. Typically, members of a territorial pair may chase intruders. Non-breeders are solitary. They often forage in crowds. When feeding, the dominant bird occupies the top of the carcass as well as favorite perches for the optimal eating position.
Common Ravens are apparently monogamous. Established pairs often stay together throughout the year.In order to attract females, males hold more erect posture near them. They also fluff out their heads, bow to females while spreading wings and tail, makes gurgling or choking sounds, and snap their bills. Female displays consist of fuzzy fluffed-out heads, while making knocking calls and flaring the tail and spreading the wings. Both female and male displays are given all year long. Laying eggs begins anytime between mid-Feb and late May.
A Common Raven’s habitat of choice includes boreal, conifer, and deciduous forests; tundra; prairies and grasslands;isolated settlements, towns, and cities; deserts; sea coasts and islands; agricultural fields; Arctic ice floes; and the highest mountains. They prefer heavily outlined landscapes like cliffs which provide heat to aid in long distance foraging and areas lined with trees or human structures so that they may lay their nests.
Although Common Ravens are associated with scavenging, they do have a omnivorous diet consisting of live meat, eggs, insects, grains, fruit, garbage, and decaying flesh of animals.They most often feed on the ground but are capable of prey mid flight. In order to find most of their food they stalks larger animals, like wolves, and scavenge their leftovers. Common Ravens also follow harvesting machinery, like tractors, to find and eat insects and mice. They also travel during the early morning on roads to look for any roadkill.