Updated: Aug 26, 2019
The northern raven (Corvus corax) stands out among other birds because of its unequalled intelligence, adaptability and captivating personality. For this reason it has inspired legends around the world through the centuries, being considered a spiritual figure in various mythologies portrayed in very different ways, from an ill omen to the creator of the world.
Its features allowed it to conquer much of the Northern Hemisphere, which makes it the most widely distributed corvid occupying an equally large variety of habitats. It is the most massive songbird (order Passeriformes), only rivaled by another corvid, the thick-billed raven (Corvus crassirostris) from the Ethiopian Highlands. Its call consists in a hoarse and potent "croa". The body is of a glossy black colour with green and purple-blue iridescence. Its large size does not hinder it, the large and fingered wings as well as the wedge-shaped tail make him very agile, performing acrobatic courtship flights during the mating season. This versatile opportunist can feed on virtually anything, from carrion and small animals to fruits and seeds. It usually travels alone or at most in pairs. However in the Canary Islands it abounds in El Hierro, where it forms large flocks. The nests are huge, since they must be capable of providing shelter to up to 7 chicks.
The northern raven in the Canary Islands is endangered due to the use of pesticides that poisoned its food and prey. Now that the population showed a slight improvement in Fuerteventura, it has been unjustly and illogically accused of damaging crops and livestock.