I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve uttered this phrase over the years (and at times been accused of pedantry!). Those large black birds, are of course ravens, and we have two local species, the Little Raven and the Australian Raven. A third species, the Forest Raven is found in the wetter forests further south, with a stronghold in Tasmania where it is the only corvid.
Little and Australian Ravens are almost identical in appearance and often best separated by their calls. The Australian Raven has an iconic call, a long and drawn out ‘aairk, aark, aaarh, aargagh’, while the Little Raven has a much quicker, clipped call along the lines of ‘ok-ok-ok’. I’ll write more on these two species in coming weeks.
For the record, there are crows in Australia with two native species, the Little Crow and the Torresian Crow. The only species likely to be seen in Victoria is the Little Crow, whose distribution just creeps into the north-west of the state.