Common Raven, Raaf, Kolkrabe, Corvo, Cuervo Común

Spotted on our property Monte Horizonte in the Alentejo region of Portugal.            Common Raven sound

The Common Raven (Corvus corax), also known as the Northern Raven, is a large, all-black passerine bird in the crow family. Found across the northern hemisphere, it is the most widely distributed of all corvids. There are eight known subspecies with little variation in appearance—although recent research has demonstrated significant genetic differences among populations from various regions.

Common Raven Birding Portugal
Common Raven

More photos at the bottom of this page:

It is one of the two largest corvids, alongside the Thick-billed Raven, and is possibly the heaviest passerine bird; at maturity, the Common Raven is between 56 and 69 cm (22 to 27 inches) in length, with recorded weights ranging from 0.69 to 1.63 kg (1.5 to 3.6 pounds). Common Ravens typically live about 10 to 15 years in the wild, although lifespans of up to 40 years have been recorded. Young birds may travel in flocks, but later mate for life, with each mated pair defending a territory.

The Common Raven has coexisted with humans for thousands of years, and in some areas has been so successful that it is considered a pest. Part of its success comes from its omnivorous diet; Common Ravens are extremely versatile and opportunistic in finding sources of nutrition, feeding on carrion, insects and food waste, in addition to cereal grains, berries, fruit and small animals.

Some remarkable feats of problem-solving have been observed in the species, leading to the belief that it is highly intelligent. Over the centuries, it has been the subject of mythology, folklore, art and literature. In many indigenous cultures, including those of Scandinavia, ancient Ireland and Wales, Bhutan, the northwest coast of North America, Siberia and northeast Asia, the Common Raven has been revered as a spiritual figure or god.

The Common Raven was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Corvus corax. It is the type species of the genus Corvus, derived from the Latin for “Raven”. The specific epithet, corax, is the Ancient Greek word for “raven” or “crow”. The name “raven” has been applied to several other (generally large) species of the genus Corvus, though they are not necessarily closely related to Corvus corax. Some, such as the Australian Raven and Forest Raven, are clearly closer to the other Australian crows. The original raven is now called the Common or Northern Raven.

Common Raven Birding Portugal
Common Raven

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Kraai
Asturian: Cuergu, Cuervón, Cuervu
Bulgarian: garvan
Breton: Ar varc’hvran, Erroi, marc’hvran, Vran
Catalan: Corb, Cornella negra
Catalan (Balears): Corb
Valencian: Cornella negra
Czech: krakovec velký, krkavec, krkavec velký
Welsh: Brân, cigfran, Gigfran fawr
Danish: Ravn
German: Kolkrabe
English: American, American Raven, Common Raven, Holarctic Raven, Mexican Raven, Northern Raven, Ravan, Raven, Southwestern Raven, Western Raven
Esperanto: granda korvo, korako, korvo
Spanish: Corneja, Cuervo, Cuervo Común, Cuervo Grande, Cuevo Grande
Spanish (Honduras): Cuervo
Spanish (Mexico): cuervo común, Cuervo Grande, Cuevo Grande
Spanish (Nicaragua): Cuervo Común
Estonian:   ronk, kaaren, korp, Ronk, ronk (kaaren), Ronk, kaaren
Basque: Corb, erroi, Erroia
Finnish: Korppi
Faroese: bringuhvítur ravnur, Gorpur, Krunkur, ravnur, Svarti
French: corbeau, Grand Corbeau
Friulian: Çore, Cornile, corvat, Corvat piçul
Frisian: raven
Irish: corvo carnazal, fiach dubh
Gaelic: Biadhtach, Fidheach, Fitheach
Galician: Corb, Corvo grande, Corvo viaraz
Manx: feeagh, Feeagh Vooar
Croatian: Gavran, Vrana gavran
Hungarian: Holló
Icelandic: Hrafn, krummi
Italian: corvo, Corvo imperiale, Corvo imperiale comune
Inuktitut: Killugak, Tulugaq
Japanese: watarigarasu, Watari-garasu
Greenlandic: Killugak, Tulugaq
Karelian: Varoi
Cornish: Bran, bran vras, Marghvran
Latin: Corvus corax
Ladino: corf
Ladin: Agacion
Lithuanian: Juodvarnis, Krankis, kranklys, Krukas, Varnas
Latvian: krauklis
Macedonian: gavran
Dutch: Raaf
Norwegian: Korp, Ravn
Occitan: còrb, Gralha
Polish: kruk, kruk (zwyczajny), Kruk zwyczajny
Portuguese: Corvo, Corvo comum
Romansh: corv grond, Corv nair
Romanian: corb
Romany: kakarachi kakarachka, Korung
Russian: Voron
Sardinian: corbittu, corvai, crà, crobu, prinneddu, tivani
Scots: Biadhtach, Fidheach, fitheach
Northern Sami: bulddogas, gáranas, garjá
Slovak: krkavec
Slovenian: krokar
Albanian: Korb, korbi
Serbian: gavran
Swedish: Korp
Swahili: Aswadi kunguru
Turkmen: Gara garga, kuzgun
Turkish: Büyük Karga, Kuzgun
Sorbian, Lower: Garona, Karwona, rapak, wron
Sorbian, Upper: rapak, Wróna


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders guided birdwatching Tours and Trips.


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