The Raven

The Raven is the common name given to several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus. (Crows). The Raven can be distinguished from the Crow by observing his beak, and the size of his body. The Raven has a slightly curved beak, in contrast to the Crow’s pointed beak. The Raven is larger than the Crow and it’s rich black color will appear to have a “purplish” sheen when closely viewed. It will also exhibit a small tufted area of  feathers on the top and on the bottom of  it’s beak.

  • A Raven’s wing span can be anywhere from 40″ to 60″  Most of these birds average 24″ in height. (And their individual weights  can exceed 4 pounds.)
  • The average life span of these birds has been reported to be anywhere from 15 to 100 years.
  • Ravens mate for life and travel in pairs.
  • These birds can be found in almost all areas of the world. They thrive in deserts, mountains, forests, frozen tundra–almost anywhere. They are impervious to extreme weather conditions.
  • The Raven has the largest brain of any bird species. They are known as “inventors” as they possess excellent problem solving characteristics. Ravens have been observed dropping rocks on predators who ventured too close to their nests.
  • Ravens mimic the sounds of their environments–they imitate (very well) the sounds of other birds and animals, and even humans. Pet Ravens have been known to speak and sing the lyrics of a song quite well!
  • Ravens have been referred to as arrant thieves, as they will steal (and take back to their nests) almost anything that shines, or captures their attention.
  • Charles Dickens’ pet Raven (“Grip“) developed a taste for paint and window putty, which led to its untimely death–likely by lead poisoning.  “The Raven”, by Charles Dickens is a (lengthy) well-known poem published in 1845. Reportedly, Abraham Lincoln liked the poem so well he memorized it completely.
  • Ravens are opportunistic feeders–these omnivores will eat grain, berries, plants, insects and the carcasses of other animals. They attack and kill many small (juvenile) animals. They typically begin the attack by plucking out the eyes of their victims. Ravens are high-flying birds, and they possess a remarkable ability to locate carrion with their keen sense of smell. They have been observed at Mt. Everest— at over 20,000 feet above sea level.
  • Ravens play with toys that they make–They will break off a stick from a branch and use it to play with other Ravens. While playing, they will drop objects from great altitudes and retrieve them in mid-air–and some acrobatic Ravens have been seen flying upside down for great distances.
  • The Vikings used Ravens when they traveled uncharted seas on their long journeys– to help them find land. Once freed, the birds would always fly toward land and the Vikings followed their flight path, leading their ships to safety.
  • Corvophobia is the unnatural fear of corvids, especially ravens and crows.
  • To Egyptians, ravens represented destruction.

The Bible mentions Ravens

  1. Genesis 8: 6-7  6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:  7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
  2. Leviticus 11:15 Every raven after his kind;
  3. Luke 12: 24 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
  4. 1 Kings 17:4  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
  5. 1 Kings 17:6  And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
  6. Psalms 147:9  He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
  7. Proverbs 30:17  The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
  8. Deuteronomy 14:14  And every raven after his kind
  9. Isaiah 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
  10. Job 38: 41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  1. When Noah released a bird, why was his first choice a Raven– instead of one of the other (many) birds on the Ark? (There were obviously other “scavengers”, birds of prey on board the Ark)
  2. As mentioned above, Ravens typically travel in pairs—why did Noah release a single Raven? Was he assured by releasing  just one Raven, the bird would return? (to its mate on the Ark).
  3. Did Noah select the Raven because of its intelligence?

GOD SENT RAVENS TO FEED ELIJAH:

1 Kings 17: 4 4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

1 Kings 17: 6  6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Why do birds–including Ravens, Crows, Starlings, Geese, & Blackbirds, fall dead from the skies, with no apparent signs of injury? An internet search will return many results regarding these strange occurrences.