Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Relict Raven
Corvus tasmanicus boreus
(Viewing 3 of 3 photos)

Click to listen to sound sample I discovered the Relict Raven back in 1967 during a research programme on Australian corvids carried out by the CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research. Sometimes called the New-England Raven because that area of NSW figures largely in the bird's range, they also occur along a large part of the north coast of NSW from about Tea Gardens north to Coffs Harbour. The name Relict Raven refers to the assertion that the present population is probably a Gondawanan relict from a time when the closely related Forest Raven had a much wider range in eastern Australia than where it occurs now in far SE Australia and Tasmania.

Rubbish tips are great places to find corvids, especially where three species occur. In NSW at Tea Gardens, Tuncurry and Walcha you can usually hear Australian Ravens, Relict Ravens and Torresian Crows. In the town of Forster, Relict Ravens are almost commensal (the smartest one sits on top of the Macdonalds sign!). They occur in the coastal forests as far north as Coffs Harbour and south at least to Tea Gardens where the town has its resident pair. Throughout this range they forage quite a lot along the beaches.

On the northern tableland, the road from Walcha to Nowendoc is a great place to see them and Armidale is another hotspot, the only place in Australia to boast four species because there the occasional flock of Little Ravens may occur. When the town of Guyra had a meatworks, Relict Ravens used to gather there.

Photo: 869203-D

869203-D ... A brown-eyed juvenile Relict Raven at Tea Gardens, NSW.

Photo: 869205-D

869205-D ... Relict Raven, juvenile.

Photo: 869206-D

869206-D ... Relict Raven, juvenile.

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