Key facts

Scientific name: Corvus corax

Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding pairs: 7,400

Conservation status: Green

Length: 58 – 70 cm

Wingspan: 116 – 118 cm

Weight: 680 – 2000 g


Ravens have glossy black plumage with purple iridescent feathers. Male ravens are slightly larger than females and have longer, scruffy feathers on their throats. They have long pointed wings and the tail is slightly fan-shaped.

Ravens have long, black, slightly curved beaks and their bills are heavier than crows’. There are bristles at the base of the upper mandible. Ravens have dark brown eyes, and black feet and legs.

Juvenile ravens look similar to adults but their feathers are not glossy and their flight feathers are brown.


Ravens nest in cliffs or tall trees. The nest is bulky and made from sticks, reeds and decayed leaves and grasses lined with twigs, wool, fur, paper and other soft materials.

Ravens lay between 3 and 7 pale blue-green or olive-green eggs flecked with darker brown. They are incubated for 18-21 days by the female who is fed by the male. Chicks are fed regurgitated food by both parents and leave the nest 5-7 weeks after hatching although they may be cared for by they parents for longer.


Ravens eat mainly carrion but also amphibians, small birds and reptiles as well as grains, acorns and fruit.


Where to see them

Ravens can be seen all year round mainly in the upland areas of south-west England, the north Pennines and Lake District and Scotland.


José Carlos Sires/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Ravens can mimic human speech and singing and other birds’ calls and in captivity can learn to talk better than some parrots.

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