Raven (Corvus Corax)

The Raven is Britain’s largest member of the Crow family and can be easily identified by its size with an adult being 25in or 64cm long, and by its heavy bill and wedge shaped tail. It is not a common bird and is sometimes called the vulture of the sheep country as the habitat is in the mountainous and isolated coastal areas of the UK normally on the Western coast despite its strong association with London (once they were common scavengers on the streets of London).  It lays 3 to 7 greenish eggs in February or March which incubate after 20 days.  They are carrion eaters, but can also kill fresh prey and prefer meat, working in pairs or small family groups in wilderness areas in search of dead and dying sheep or deer but they will eat most things such as seeds, shellfish, fish the eggs of other birds and even small animals.  The Raven gained its dark reputation due to the fact they were regular visitors at the gallows during middle ages now in Europe they are only plentiful in the mountains of the Alps and the Carpathians. In defence of their nest they will attack even a large predator fearlessly, if raised in captivity they can be quickly tamed. Like Rooks, Ravens often perform aerobatic tricks with rolls, glides and nose dives it is thought to be associated with courtship but sometimes they perform these exuberant tricks out of high spirits. In mythology they are sometimes associated with the Norse God Odin and certain of the Celtic war gods as they were often seen picking clean the fallen on the battlefield.