Friday, February 17, 2012

Common Raven

Ravens, the largest of all passerines, is a common bird of northern Minnesota. It is amazing, however, how big crows can appear when you are searching for your first raven! Ravens differ from crows in their larger size and wedge-shaped tails. As you can see in the first photo, ravens' central tail feathers are longer than the outer ones. The calls of ravens differ from those of crows--crows say "caw, caw," while ravens give a guttural "wonk, wonk."

The omnivorous Common Raven, found in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, is one of the most widespread birds in the world. Now accidental in the prairies of the Great Plains, they were also abundant there in the days of American Bison and wolves. Now Ravens are found in wilderness areas, and are now reestablishing itself in eastern forests and urban areas of the eastern United States. The first photo was taken in the Sax-Zim Bog of northern Minnesota; the second from St. Jon in western Arizona.
According to Boarman and Heinrich (1999), ravens are part of Native American folklore. Many peoples "revere ravens as being the creator of earth, moon, sun, and stars, but also regard it a trickster and cheater. Poets and authors of Western cultures have often used the raven to symbolize death, danger, and wisdom."

No comments:

Post a Comment