The raven is a big black bird, a member of the crow family. It is massive – the biggest member of the crow family. It is all black with a large bill, and long wings. In flight, it shows a diamond-shaped tail.
Ravens breed mainly in the west and north although they are currently expanding their range eastwards. Most birds are residents, though some birds – especially non-breeders and young birds – wander from their breeding areas but do not travel far.
Once widespread throughout the entire UK, persecution saw Ravens being pushed back to parts of Scotland and Ireland, north and south-west England, and Wales. Recovery was slow up to the the time of the 1988-91 Breeding Atlas. Since then, the range has increased significantly. Gloucestershire mirrors the national picture. From about 1952, they were breeding again in the Dean and Wye Area. In the Cotswolds Atlases area there were no records at all in 1983-87, but in 2003-07 they were found in 69 tetrads. In 1998, a nest 3km east of Cheltenham was the easternmost breeding site in the county, but by 2007 there were breeding records in 24 Cotswold tetrads, scattered right across to the eastern county border. It is no longer unusual to see Ravens anywhere in the county. Greatest densities are in the Forest of Dean and the higher parts of the Cotswolds.
Size, habitat and diet
Weight: M: 1.3kg F: 1.1kg
World distribution: Europe, Asia, North America
Habitat: Almost everywhere
Diet: Opportunistically on plant and animal food
Corvid ID – Crow, Rook, Raven (BTO)