Breaking

Derbyshire developer who bulldozed bungalow knowing it was home to bats avoids jail

Three birds of prey found dead in Staffordshire Moorlands

Appeal for information after injured buzzard found near Kirkby Malzeard in North Yorkshire

Illicit wildlife products 'slipping through the net'

Suspended sentence for seafood salesman who smuggled £53m worth of live eels out of UK

Somerset campsite owner jailed after he deliberately shot dead an otter trapped in a fishing net

Seafood salesman convicted of eelegally smuggling £53million worth of European eels through the UK

Siamese crocodile skulls found in raids by Kent police

Avon & Somerset appoint new Wildlife Crime Officer

Cheltenham antiques dealer sentenced for trading illegally in elephant tusks and walrus ivory

Maidstone men jailed after deer stabbed repeatedly in the throat and animal cruelty

Welsh man handed suspended jail term after interfering with badger sett

Suspected hare courser causes high-speed police chase in Cambridgeshire

Dorset wildlife crime officer recognised in New Year Honours list

Forensic science techniques used in battle against wildlife crime across Scotland

Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the work of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

Northern Irish man accused of selling more than 200 animals including lions, crocodiles and great white shark

Walsall owl breeder told his good character saved him from prison sentence

Pinpointing rural & wildlife crime with what3words

Illegal trade in endangered species - trial date set in Lancashire


Home / Education / Bird of the Month – Raven

Bird of the Month – Raven

raven6658LCampbell-aThe raven is the largest of our UK corvids, being much the same size as a buzzard. It looks rather like a giant carrion crow, all black, but with a much more powerful bill. In flight its tail is wedge-shaped, that probably being the best identifier. A raven is often seen before it is heard, and its characteristic prukk, prukk, call often draws attention to it as it soars high in the sky.

The raven is found in a variety of habitats, though mainly, moorland, mountains and cliffs.  Its preference for cliff-nesting often means it has a nesting peregrine as a near neighbour, though the two species seem to co-exist successfully.  It is one of our earliest nesting birds, with more southern populations starting to lay eggs in mid-February, and those further north laying eggs by early April.  A pair of adult ravens will hold a territory, and use the same nest or nests year after year.  Younger ravens are chased out of the territory and are often found feeding in flocks on farmland.

raven7848LCampbell-aAs a typical member of the crow family, the raven’s diet is varied, but includes birds’ eggs, young birds and carrion. Taking game bird eggs brings the bird into conflict with game management, and the fact that it sometimes picks the eyes out of sheep that are lambing or stuck on their back can bring it into conflict with farmers.  Some licences are issued to deal with ravens causing a serious problem to agriculture, but occasionally the bird is shot illegally or its nest is deliberately interfered with, causing failure of the eggs or chicks. Egg collectors, for whatever reason, regularly target clutches of raven eggs.  This may be because it is one of the earliest nesters or because the nests are a challenge to climb up to (or abseil down to).  Ravens nesting on coastal areas of north Wales are often the population that suffers most from this strange breed of criminal.