Common Raven (Corvis corax)

This is a large, 21 to 27 inch long, glossy black bird. Its bill is large and heavy, with nostrils covered by bristly feathers called filoplumes. A raven has a large tuft of feathers covering its throat, which is visible from a distance. In flight a raven will flap, soar, and then flap. Its wedge shaped tail distinguishes it from the common crow.

Ravens build large stick nests in tall trees or breaks on a rocky cliff or ledge. Eggs are five to seven in number, greenish with brown spots. Ravens have a loud, deep, throaty call or croak. They are omnivorous and will eat carrion, small mammals, young birds and vegetation.

Ravens are very territorial and will attack owls, hawks and even eagles who encroach on their habitat. Their Michigan range is the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, and they are common in the jack pine forest.

Ravens and crows are superb fliers. Their aerial displays are a delight to watch and are just one of the natural wonders that await you when you get out to visit Michigan's natural heritage.