Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Australian Raven
Corvus coronoides
(Viewing 4 of 24 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Once adult, Australian Ravens live as lifelong pairs in permanent territories of 150 ha. or so and apart from an occasional sortie to a nearby food glut, each pair has to rely on its territory for sustenance throughout the year. Many years ago when I was involved in the research on Australian corvids carried out by CSIRO, we used to joke that the choicest raven territories were those with a bitumen road frontage. These birds do a "road patrol" several times a day to look for the latest roadkill which can form a substantial part of their diet. To any country traveller the vast amount of larger roadkill is obvious, very often with birds feeding on it, but there are also many smaller items like insects, reptiles and small birds that finish up dead on the road. The downside is that sometimes these birds with a "bitumen road frontage" to their territories nest close to the road and their fledglings also become roadkill, before they have developed any road sense. Adult ravens have very good road sense and never get killed on the road - have you ever noticed how they deftly step aside right at the last minute? smart birds indeed.

In eastern Australia their range basically coincides with grazing country, but like all our corvids, their distribution limits are constantly changing according to land use. Certain features of the map (690208) are worth noting. Aust. Ravens are largely absent from the east coast north of about Newcastle, except near Rockhampton and Townsville; likewise they are rare on the south coast between The Coorong and Melbourne, and eastwards to about Orbost. In W.A. they are only found in the south-west south of the mulga-eucalypt line. Traditionally a very wary species, they have become commensal in certain cities and towns. In Canberra Botanic Gardens they can be observed at very close quarters as they mix freely with the picnickers. They are the common corvid in Sydney and all down the NSW coast south of Newcastle.

Photo: 690201

690201 ... Australian Raven, W.A.subspecies 'perplexus'.(see under Western Raven)

Photo: 690202


Photo: 690203

690203 ... Australian Raven, Hattah, Victoria.

Photo: 690204

690204 ... Two year old hazel eyed bird.

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