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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Cornell labs  All about the Common Raven

Submit Your Own Raven Story

Submit your favorite raven story and have your story published here.

Raven eating ice cream on the South Rim

Raven eating ice cream on the South Rim


This raven lives at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. During tourist season he hangs out around the rim by Bright Angel Lodge to beg for food. In the first photo, a tourist gave him a cup of ice cream that he dipped
his beak into until it was gone.





Raven Munching Walnuts

Raven Munching Walnuts


The next day, his plaintive cry convinced me to share my walnuts with him!  He ate a few and then carried the rest off to share with a mate or cache for a snack at a later time.






Do Not Feed The Wildlife sign

Do Not Feed The Wildlife


Nearby is a sign that clearly states ” DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE.”

Ravens and Crow–what’s the difference?

3 Raven Fledgings

3 Raven Fledglings

How can you tell a raven from a crow?
While crows and ravens share many physical characteristics, they also have obvious differences such as size and wingspan that allow us to tell them apart.

Raven VS Crow
Common Ravens Crows
Weigh 2-3 1 pound or less
Tails are long and wedge-shaped Tails are shorter and rounded
Wingspan is 4-5 feet Wingspan is 2-3 feet
Wings rustle in flight No wing sounds
Totally black mouth beak eyes feet Beaks are lighter colored
Shaggy hair on throat Smooth throat
Long thick beaks Shorter thinner beaks
Ravens soar in flight Crows flap their wings
Call is deep quork  quork Call is weaker caw caw

Watch a PBS nature episode on Crows
A Murder of Crows ~ Full Episode | Nature | PBS