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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A mature Common Raven ranges between 56 and 78 cm (22 to 30 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 100 to 150 cm (40 to 59 in). Recorded weights range from 0.69 to 2 kg (1.5 to 4.4 lb), thus making the Common Raven one of the heaviest passerines. Birds from colder regions such as the Himalayas and Greenland are generally larger with slightly larger bills, while those from warmer regions are smaller with proportionally smaller bills. The bill is large and slightly curved. It has a longish, strongly graduated tail, mostly black iridescent plumage, and a dark brown iris. The throat feathers are elongated and pointed and the bases of the neck feathers are pale brownish-grey. Juvenile plumage is similar but duller with a blue-grey iris.
Apart from its greater size, the Common Raven differs from its cousins, the crows, by having a larger and heavier, black beak, shaggy feathers around the throat and above the beak, and a wedge-shaped tail. The species has a distinctive, deep, resonant prruk-prruk-prruk call, which to experienced listeners is unlike that of any other corvid. Its very wide and complex vocabulary includes a high, knocking toc-toc-toc, a dry, grating kraa, a low guttural rattle and some calls of an almost musical nature. In flight the feathers produce a creaking sound that has been likened to the rustle of silk.
Common Ravens can be very long-lived, especially in captive or protected conditions; individuals at the Tower of London have lived for more than 40 years. Lifespans in the wild are considerably shorter: typically only 10 to 15 years. The longest known lifespan of a banded wild Common Raven was 23 years, 3 months
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