The raven is a bird that belongs to the family Corvidae, a grouping that also includes crows and jays. The raven is a large bird and a strong flier, capable of riding thermal updrafts. It has gained a reputation for being among the smartest of all birds.
The raven is a strongly built bird with a thick neck. Ravens have big beaks and wedge-shaped tails, and they can be as long as 26 inches and weigh 43 oz.
All parts of the raven are black, including its feathers, beak, legs, eyes and feet. Its upper body may take on a purplish sleek sheen when viewed in the sunlight.
Ravens can be found in open areas and woodlands in the American West as well as across the northern states. Ravens actually thrive around people and are not scared by human activity.
Ravens are not nearly the social birds that crows are, living in twos or alone. Ravens are known to frequently jump forward using a hopping motion and in flight will often glide for long distances before flapping their wings.
A bunch of shaggy feathers on the throat of a raven distinguishes it from the smaller crow. These feathers will puff out when the bird makes its guttural croaking call.