Thursday, February 21, 2008

Something to Crow, er, Rave-n, About!

OK, I promised some information about the differences between Bran and his cousins, the crows. So here are a few facts:
- One of the best ways to tell between the two, especially in flight, is that crows have fan-shaped tails while ravens' tail are long and wedge-shaped.
- When a crow flies overhead, they are almost silent but a raven's wings will sound like "swish, swish". I don't have to look up to know Bran is flying overhead. I was amazed at this fact but it really is a way to tell the difference. I've never heard the wings of a crow while in flight. Only ravens'.
-Ravens' bills are indeed bigger and a bit curved. They are much more powerfull than a crow's.
-Ravens are much more efficient predators than crows. You won't usually find ravens eating in a corn field, while crows love corn. Ravens here in Arizona have the task of cleaning up roadside kills of deer and elk. They are so efficient that the road dept. just moves the poor beast off to the sides of the roads and in a matter of a couple of weeks you may never have known anything to have been there.
-Ravens' wings are more pointed whereas crows have more of a splayed, blunted tip. "The Great and Powerful Mel" is correct in her wise-crack (I mean "statement"). :)
-Ravens can have up to a 4 ft. wingspan and weigh much more than a crow. Crows have about a 2 1/2 ft. wingspan. I did read that ravens can be as large as 24-27 inches long, while crows come in about 17 inches long.

So, there are a few of the differences between crows and ravens. I do know that now that I have taken the time to get to know Bran and his kind I will never look at any corvid without thinking of their intelligence. I shall try my best to think kindly thoughts the next time a flock gathers in the neighborhood to have a party. I will only clap my hands in asking them to move along, take your party elsewhere, please.

And as Bran himself might say..."Nevermore".

1 comment:

nursedragon said...

Funny thing today: I was standing at my kitchen sink, absently looking out the window, when I saw some black "things" spazzing out, breakdancing in the new-fallen snow on the side of the hill. I put my glasses on to get a better look; I watched as several crows deliberated dove head-first into the snow, "swam" under it, and then shook the snow through their plumage. They were taking a snow bath! Huh! I had never seen such a thing before.