Common raven sitting on a branch
The common raven is an intelligent and adaptable bird known for its striking appearance and remarkable behaviours. This elegant bird is easily identified by its characteristic wedge-shaped tail and glossy black feathers. Their keen eyesight and agile flight make them proficient hunters, often scavenging for prey or stealing from other predators. Ravens are known for their playful behaviour and their omnivorous diet, feeding on a wide variety of foods, including carrion, insects and small mammals.
Revered across various cultures, ravens have frequently appeared in literature and legends. In Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem, 'The Raven', this bird serves as a symbol of death and melancholy, haunting the protagonist with its ominous refrain of 'nevermore'. Native American folklore often portrays the raven as a cunning and mystical trickster, with some tribes believing it possessed the power to shape-shift. Ravens also feature prominently in Norse mythology where they were considered to be wise messengers of the god Odin.