Raven is Largest Song Bird in the World

Raven Munching Walnuts

Raven Munching Walnuts

Ravens have a large range of vocalizations or calls; at least 30 different calls with many distinct variations have been documented. They are the largest songbirds in the world. Each bird uses different calls in length, strength, and pitch. Best known is the deep “quork, quork” call, with the males’ call stronger than the females. Ravens that are mates share calls in common to help identify their territory, and to keep track of each other when they are separated. They match their calls with postures and gestures to increase their meaning. The raven in the photo lives at the Grand Canyon and knows that if he “quorks” repeatedly the tourists will soon provide him with some of their food.
The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology Macauley Library provides an opportunity to listen to 150,000 animal sounds on their website.  Among those available are the Common Raven, and you you can listen to them if you visit the website. You can also hear the  the “thrump, thrump” of wings beating as the ravens fly off.  Note that the calls vary depending on the location of the birds in the United States and Canada.  The commentary for each call explains the exact location and other helpful information.

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