Australian VS Little Ravens

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HelloBirdy
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Australian VS Little Ravens

We have two species of ravens in canberra, little and australian, which can be hard to distinguish. I noticed morcombe had a reference to little ravens fanning their tail feathers in flight, a trait I have also noticed. Do Australian Ravens do this at all too, or can I use this to confirm my ID

Woko
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The fanning of tai feathers isn't something I've used to distinguish between Little & Australian Ravens. I look for throat hackles as an indicator of the Australian Raven & listen for the call. The Australian Raven call is higher pitched & quite drawn out compared with that of the Little Raven.

Owl of Kedumba
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Not sure if anyone's seen this before: http://www.birdlife.org.au/australian-birdlife/detail/the-trouble-with-r...

It explains the ID challenge of Australian corvids, and includes a useful table of distinctive features.

zosterops
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It'd be great if they enlarged the size of the identification table on that link...

Owl of Kedumba
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I very much agree zosterops. At least you can see it when you zoom in.

Termite
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Have looked at table and am still corvidly confused. Here in the lower south-east of SA I would expect to see only ravens -  am i right so far? the solitary bird (except for mating season) here has no visible hackles but pumps its tail down when calling. So it could be an immature australian raven, but seems to have a partner, as I've said. Is there a corvid expert in the house, lest I become a raven lunatic? (oh - and this year there has been an unprecendented influx of corvids)

Woko
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Becoming a raven lunatic is nothing to crow about, Termite. And to add to your corvid confusion don't forget that a third corvid is cavorting in the south east of SA - the Forest Raven. In ascending order of pitch there's the Forest Raven, Little Raven & Australian Raven. The Australian Raven has a descending call. Such are the ups & downs of corvid identification which might be better aided by a good bird field guide.

Termite
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There's never a tasmanicus around when you need one - it's the hackles question that ruffles my feathers. As for the for the pitch, I believe I'm buying. For a while the raven has been cawing the first line of 'Old MacDonald'. Descending pitch! Ah, but there's the ruff...

pacman
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Ah, but there's the ruff...

Now you are confused as a Ruff is a medium-sized wader or shorebird

I have a good Ruff pic on my smugmug file

Peter

zosterops
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Rook?

Woko
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The Australian Raven has by far the most prominent hackles of the corvids in your area, Termite. Both the Little Raven & Forest Raven have throat hackles but they're very hard to see unless you're up close & personal when they're calling. Then you need to rely on the pitch they're throwing you with the Forest Raven having the deeper pitch.

Termite
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Woko - thank you - I am almost convinced it is a Forest Raven - it has a deep, descending pitch and pumps out each note by depressing it's tail. Tried to get sound recording of 'old macdonald' this morning, but murphy's law was about. Appreciate the help.

Termite
Termite's picture

many north americans blame shakespeare for their starling problem

now that is ruff

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