The beauty of ravens

Last year a pair of Australian Ravens nested in a large Red Ironbark in our front yard. They are back again this year and have become quite territorial over recent weeks. The bird pictured below was photographed moments after ejecting a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo from the bird bath!

While often dismissed as simply a ‘large black bird’ these images highlight the complexity of their colouration when seen up close. The plumage is an interplay of black, blue and green sheens and the iris features a wonderful powder blue ring. I’ve found this species and also the Little Raven to be very difficult to photograph – they are extremely wary in most situations.

Australian Raven, Wyndham Street Newstead, 18th July 2018



As an aside, the most popular post on Natural Newstead over the years is “Sorry, but we don’t have crows around here”, written on July 7th 2013. It was my response to the oft heard claim about observing a crow, when in fact locally, all of these ‘large black birds’ are most certainly either Little Ravens or Australian Ravens.

5 responses to “The beauty of ravens

  1. Lesley dalziel

    I’ll bet your little birds aren’t happy about that

  2. Patrick Kavanagh

    They are magnificent birds and I love the sheen in these photos Geoff!

  3. Perfect timing for your photos of the Australian Raven as have a pair outside the house at my property in Glenlyon and have just been observing them more closely. I thought they were crows but now know they are Australian Ravens or perhaps Little Ravens. I toss a few scraps out sometimes and now the bigger one has taken it upon himself to demand service by tapping on the glass at the front door, but only after he sees me up and about in the kitchen in the morning. I hope I can make an ID now I’ve listened to the different calls I found through 2013 posts on your site. I will check the video I took of my so called “crows” as he makes the call after he taps. I’d attach it but can figure out how to do it. The dog needs to eat fast as they see me go out to feed him and immediately position themselves, complete with fast getaway stance, within a metre of him, at the read to snatch up any fall out. Wally buries any bones and last week I observed them high in various trees watching his every move as he kept rethinking the best spot to bury. The dog them came inside and within a minute I saw them throwing mulch and soil about and they dug up his bone under a newly planted tree and they got stuck into it. They are collecting strips off a paperbark outside the lounge and what a load they can manage. What fantastic birds they are. Great photos Geoff and love getting them each morning.

  4. I had some fun 18 months ago. A young male Australian Raven arrived in my yard. He would have been 4 or 5 months old, and had just been kicked out into the wide world by his family.

    At first he was scared of me, but with a bit of food that changed rapidly. Very hungry. In two days he was accepting food from my hand and by the third he was a firm friend!

    But on the fourth day he was gone. His family found him and booted him out of their territory, never to be seen again. Life is hard for a young male raven.

    • Galena Debney

      Poor young fellow, booted out just when life was looking up I hope he was able to move on to suitably comfortable circumstances.

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