Forest Raven

Did you know?

The Forest Raven is the only corvid (crow or raven) that occurs in Tasmania.

Calls
Slow baritone 'korr...korr...korr' ( not the wail of the Australian Raven). Points tail downwards when it calls.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
50cm
Maximum Size: 
53cm
Average size: 
52cm
Average weight: 
650g
Breeding season: 
July to September on the mainland; later in Tasmania
Clutch Size: 
4 to 5
Incubation: 
20 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
SA: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
Associated Plants
Plants associated with this species
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Atlas Number: 
868
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Forest Raven is the largest and heaviest corvid (member of the Family Corvidae, the crows and ravens) with a large bill and short tail. In common with all corvids the bird is almost completely black, including its beak and legs. It has a white eye-ring around the pupil. The bill is decurved, with a distinct hook at the tip. It is also known as the Tasmanian Raven.

Similar species: 

The Forest Raven is very difficult to distinguish from other similar ravens, other than by its deep, gravelly call. It looks heavily built and has a slow, heavy flight. It is slightly bigger than the Australian Raven,C. coronoides.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Forest Raven is the only raven endemic to Tasmania and is widespread there. It may be found on Bass Strait islands including King Island where it overlaps the range of the Little Raven. It is also found in mainland south-eastern Australia, with populations on the New England tableland and coast and three isolated areas in Victoria: Gippsland, the Otway ranges and the Grampians and Millicent Plain.

Habitat: 

The Forest Raven is found in alpine forests, high moors, wet eucalypt forest, woodlands, coastal scrub and beaches and adjacent open country. It is also found in human modified areas such as orchards and pine plantations.

Seasonal movements: 

The Forest Raven is sedentary but can be found in non-breeding flocks of up to 100 birds in winter.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Forest Raven is omnivorous but tends to prefer flesh. It feeds mainly on insects, small lizards and birds and eggs. It also eats carrion (dead animals), including road kill. This species can cache (hide) surplus food.

Breeding: 

Breeding of the Forest Raven is poorly known. Only the female develops a brood-patch (a bare patch of skin to keep the nestlings and eggs warm). The male feeds the female on the nest. When the eggs hatch, the young are blind and naked. Both parents feed the young. The nest is large and made of sticks and twigs, lined with leaves, fur or feathers. The nest is usually high in the canopy of a tall tree.

Living with us

The Forest Raven is widely considered a pest of agriculture and grazing and is destroyed in large numbers in Tasmania. The relict populations of the mainland subspecies, C. tasmanicus boreus, are declining, possibly due to deforestation.

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