The Dark Knight
With their cocky ways and their resourcefulness, there is much to admire about crows and ravens – except when these same personality traits make them infuriating neighbours.
They show great ingenuity when it comes to feeding and nest building. For example, Little Ravens have been sprung pulling the rubber strips right out of car windscreen wipers to line their nest.
Golfers often scratch their heads as golf balls disappear right under their noses, stolen by ravens. The culprits collect the balls thinking they are eggs and then drop them from a roof, hoping to smash them open for a feed. Other crows and ravens have been sprung stealing letters from letterboxes and even attempting to open them.
They are also a real problem on farms, where they zero in on the abundance of food. Crows and ravens have a particular fancy for grapes, soft fruits, potatoes, nuts and grains. They remove fruit directly from trees, land on trellises which collapse under their weight, and despite their size, can perch directly on the stalks of grain, snapping off plants such as wheat and sorghum.
The larger ravens have a reputation for attacking lambs, although many believe they only go for sick animals or those abandoned by their mother. They are frequenters of roadsides, where they feast onthe carnage of wildlife left behind by speeding cars. Crows and ravens feature heavily in literature and mythology, with their black plumage, croaking call, and diet of carrion. They have along association with the dead and with lost souls. In Sweden ravens are thought to be the ghosts of murdered people, and in Germany as the souls of the damned.
But the other side of the coin is that these carrion birds help clean the environment of rotting carcasses. They do a great job of cleaning up the carrion which lines our roadways and bush. Imagine what a big mess nature would be without crows and ravens doing the dirty work.
There are five native species of Corvids (crows and ravens) inAustralia. These are the Australian Raven, Little Raven, Little Crow, Forest Raven, and the Torresian Crow. Another, introduced species -the House Crow - makes an occasional appearance. It is the only Corvid in Australia which has white in the plumage. They are all quitesimilar - ravens being perhaps slightly larger - and some can bedifficult to tell apart in the field without close scrutiny.
Crows hold down their prey with their feet.
Crows are good buddies to have around as they will eat up your snails.