Once upon a midnight dreary… I decided to write about crows and ravens. Yea, I know…not as good as old Edgar but,nonetheless I am sure you will learn something in this post. One thing is my birthday falls on Halloween(presents can be left at the front desk),secondly we all know I love birds so I decided to talk about birds associated with Halloween.
Crows and their relatives are in the family Corvidae. You can find them everywhere except for the Arctic and Antarctic. Whats most fascinating to me about these birds is that they are the most highly developed of all the birds. They are intelligent, sociable and can adapt in many situations. There are about 117 species of these birds that range from 8 to 26 inches.
But Jill, whats the difference between a crow and a raven? Good question. There are some differences between the two. In the air, you can tell that ravens have a tail that is tapered and almost has a diamond wedge pattern. The crow has a shorter tail that is more square. A raven will also soar and flap in the air, whereas the crow will not. Personally, I have had a few cool experiences with ravens. On my recent trip to Bryce Canyon in Utah, a raven was hanging out in the parking lot. I was amazed on how huge this bird was compared to crows. It was the size of Misha, our red tailed hawk.
The other experience was when I visited the Tower of London last year. Now, for a little history lesson, King Charles II decreed six ravens were to be kept at the tower at all times. If the ravens were to leave, the tower would fall and so would England. This tradition still holds today, and a Raven master is appointed to take care of them full time. He probably helps the tower out in this myth since he frequently trims the feathers so they cant fly away.
I mentioned intelligence a little bit earlier. These birds are known to make and use tools to get what they want. Below is a video of a New Caledonian crow using his brain.
4 responses to Quoth the raven “Nevermore”
Cool! This reminded me of this radio piece about crows and their ability to tell humans apart: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106826971
For a bit more on ravens and their smarts, check this out from “Ravens in Winter” a copy of which sits on my bookshelf-http://www.angelfire.com/id/ravensknowledge/ravensvscrows
Also, check out this video of a “crow foraging.” There’s lots of neat crow videos on YouTube.
I forgot to add the URL for the “Crow Foraging’ video:
Awesome video – thanks for sharing.