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The Chihuahuan raven, (Corvus cryptoleucus), belongs to the order Passeriformes, and the family of Corvidae. These bird species are medium-sized crows that are slightly smaller than Common raven and larger than an American crow. Formally this species was known as the American white-necked raven due to its white neck feathers hidden under the black plumage. Chihuahuan raven inhabits both arid deserts and grasslands of North America, New Mexico, and Southern Arizona. Chihuahuan Ravens are non-migratory birds but they are sometimes seen flying towards the south during the winter season.
Chihuahuan ravens are sometimes confused with the American crow and the Common raven due to their characteristic resemblance with each other. Chihuahuan raven has a hefty bill similar to a common raven and these ravens are overall sleek black in color which includes their legs and feet.
You can easily find these birds around you as they often perch on trees and utility poles around your home.
The Chihuahuan raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) is a species of crow in the order Passeriformes, family Corvidae that are found in the Mexico and United States.
The Chihuahuan raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) belongs to the Aves class of animals.
The exact population count of the Chihuahuan raven cannot be determined as these ravens have a wide range of habitats across North America and as they also resemble the Common ravens and American crow, making it harder to determine their population. Though it is impossible with the rapid increase in their population
The Chihuahuan raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) is found in grasslands and deserts with scattered shrubs, trees, and shortgrass prairie across North America. In the winter season, these birds move into North American habitats with cattle operations, landfills, and agriculture.
They are also found in New Mexico and southern Arizona, with mostly a vagrant population in New Mexico.
These birds built their nests in at least 5-40 ft (1.5-12.1 m) on the utility poles, tree shrubs, towers, and artificial supports of the buildings in their habitat range. Females usually build the nest with a mass of thorny twigs, bark fibers, grass, and animal hair.
They have a social life and are seen together in flocks like family mostly during seasonal flocking, communal roosting, and when defending their nest from predators. This bird tends to become terrestrial during the breeding season and will not allow anyone except for its partner to come near the nests.
The average lifespan of this bird is 10-15 years in its natural habitat.
Chihuahuan ravens form a monogamous pair for life similar to any other corvids, the breeding season usually starts in the summer season and during this period these birds become very aggressive and terrestrial to protect their young ones from the predators.
A female lays five to seven eggs which are gray-green to olive in color and it takes 18-21 days for incubation, both parents share the responsibilities towards their young ones. Both parents incubate the eggs and provide food and shelter to the young hatchlings.
The conservation status of the Chihuahuan raven is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List as these birds are found in abundance across North America.
Chihuahuan ravens are medium-sized ravens that are black in color with white neck feathers concealed under their plumage. These birds have a v-shaped tail and a well-developed ruff of feathers on their throat that is usually used to communicate with others. These birds have long nasal bristles, a large hefty bill, black legs, and feet.
While flying the tail of these birds appears to be in a diamond shape and the wings are visible as broad and round in shape. You can find these birds flying closer to the ground along with the strong wingbeats.
Chihuahuan ravens are scavengers and in many places, they are considered a bad omen. Their glossy black plumage makes them look regal if not cute.
The Chihuahuan raven is quite vocal and to communicate this bird uses a variety of calls and non-vocal sounds. As these birds are known for communal roosting they have alarm calls, comfort sounds, and chase calls. Non-vocal calls usually consist of wing whistles, allopreening, and bill snapping. Chihuahuan raven is also known for communicating by physical displays of threat or peace offering to other ravens.
The Chihuahuan raven is a medium-sized bird and can grow up to 18.1-20.9 in (46-53 cm) and has a wingspan of 40.9-43.3 in (104-110 cm). These birds show reverse sexual dimorphism as the females are slightly larger than males. Chihuahuan raven size is similar to that of an extinct species known as the Hawaiian crows and little crow species.
The average flying speed of the Chihuahuan raven is 25 mph (40.2 kph) but it is also been found that trained ravens can fly at the top speed of around 48 mph (77.2 kph).
Chihuahuan raven is a medium-sized omnivore bird and a full-grown adult can weigh between 15.6-23.5 oz (442-667 g) which is slightly lighter than a white-necked raven.
Like most bird species, this species, too, has no particular name assigned to either sex.
A baby Chihuahuan raven, like most other baby birds, is called a chick. These nestlings stay with their parents for a shorter period of one month only after hatching.
Juveniles often keep close to the flocks they are born in and can be distinguished from the adults due to the absence of neck feathers and a smaller bill that they have.
The Chihuahuan raven is an omnivorous bird and is known to be a great scavenger. Their diet consists of small reptiles, insects, invertebrates, snails, lizards, eggs, and other small birds.
You can find these birds scavenging through your garbage and feeding on the carrion they found on the ground. These birds also feed on seeds, grains, fruits, and berries by taking them directly from nearby trees.
These species similar to any other members of the Corvidae family are dangerous if provoked. Similar to the common raven, these birds are extremely protective of their young nestlings. These birds can cause some disturbance if humans are present in their habitat.
Though there is nothing illegal about keeping them as pets as they have no special conservation status that applies to them, even then people avoid these birds as pets. These birds should be trained prior to keeping them as a pet or it should be one of the rescued nestlings.
Since it is a wild bird and needs vast space, it will not be comfortable in a cage, and taking care of this bird can be very tedious due to its diet. You will need to provide a meat-based diet for this bird which will lead to untidiness.
If you are to get a view of this crow-like bird, it is advised to keep your distance from them and observe them on trees and utility poles they perch on.
Due to the slaughter of the plains bison in the early 1900s in Colorado and nearby states, the Chihuahuan ravens were available more widespread because sufficient food was available to them and helped to expand their habitat. Chihuahuan ravens reuse their nest, unlike other ravens and crows.
The common raven is the largest perching bird that is found in the United States along with the Chihuahuan raven. The oldest Chihuahuan raven that was caught was 21 years and nine months old, this bird was banded in Arizona in the year 1980. The oldest common raven caught was 22 years and seven months old and it was banded in Nova Scotia.
Ravens have been figuratively portraited in legends and literature throughout the histories of many cultures across the world.
Ravens prefer the fellowship of other ravens and tend to be in pairs, and these intelligent species are known for holding grudges and will take revenge if they get a chance.
There are few rare ravens that have white feathers, which is caused due to a rare pigment condition called leucism and rarely gives them blue eyes.
Ravens are cunning, intelligent, and clever bird species that usually work in pairs for foraging. Teamwork can be seen when they are on the hunt for eggs and young birds one raven will lure away the parent bird away from the nest and the other partner swipes away the egg or the nestlings. Ravens are also known for calling on wolves and leading them to the carcasses of the animals to tear down the tough skin and feed on the soft innards. This bird has a huge collection of more than 100 vocalizations. The deep voice of these birds helps them to mimic the human-made voice and they can easily mimic other bird calls as well.
These birds will eat anything they want as they are omnivores, due to this behavior they will hunt for prey and even feed on carrion and dung found on the roadside. The intelligence of these birds is sometimes compared with chimpanzees and dolphins, ravens can communicate with humans by pointing at things and holding objects. Ravens are found all across the world they can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. These species have a vast and diverse range extending from forest to urban habitat and from tundra to high deserts habitat.
Ravens are very acrobatic when they fly in the sky. Ravens can fly upside down, do somersaults, and even surf updrafts. These intelligent birds are always in flocks and are very playful as they will often tug on the feathers of other ravens playfully and have been seen playing games with each other, dropping sticks while flying, and then catching them back again swooping at it before reaching the ground.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these scaled quail facts and black-throated magpie-jay facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird outline coloring pages.
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