Family Corvidae

There are over 120 species of crow-like birds in this family which is found all over the world except for polar regions and the southern tip of South America. It is a successful family with its members having a great capacity to survive. However there are only two of the five Australian species found in and around Canberra, the Australian Raven and the Little Raven. The Little Raven for many years was not recognised as a separate species.  It is likely that some Australian Ravens were recorded as Little Ravens in the survey. However, the Little Raven’s behaviour and living patterns differ from those of the Australian Raven, and therefore they do not compete with each other. The calls of the two birds also differ. The Australian Raven has a long sorrowful ending to its call whereas the Little Raven has not. The Australian Raven has obvious hackles, that is, feathers standing out on the throat.


Australian Raven

Corvus coronoides

The Australian Raven is primarily a scavenger, often seen in small groups along roadsides, but also well adapted to urban areas such as shopping centres, parks, schoolyards and other open areas. Large groups of 20-40 birds may occur in some places, such as near Mugga Lane tip.

Numbers are fairly regular throughout the year, but there has been a steady increase in numbers since 1985. Breeding records have also increased over the course of the survey. The breeding cycle of Australian Ravens is lengthy, taking from 20 to 30 weeks. Nest-building usually begins from June, and observations of dependent young are mostly over by the end of February. Despite this lengthy cycle, this species is known to occasionally nest a second time in a breeding season. R=10. BR=16.