AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides)

I’ve finally unpacked everything and got 97% of my possessions back in place after my apartment move on Monday this week.

(I seem to have more possessions than 2 weeks ago  😀   but that’s impossible, merely that I’ve done a bit of re-arranging in this move to try and eradicate so much bending and/or twisting in daily activities for my degenerative spinal condition and right hip OA).

Anyway, this means I’ve found my photographic field guide Birds of Australia by Jim Flegg.  

By the way, if you live in Australia and are interested in Bird Photography, I can highly recommend this relatively small, (well, about 8″ & 6″), book to help you identify any Australian Birds you’re keen to put ‘name to face.’

Most of the images in this guide are very clear in both colour and bird shape, sometimes the eye colour being the only thing to help you identify between 2 or 3 similar birds.   Jim Flegg has inserted a small map of Australia with shaded blue areas of where the bird species is usually found for each one and a very concise description of the bird, the differences between male and female, its call and whether it’s common or rare etc.

AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides)

I believe the couple of photos I made of a large black bird last week in the local children’s playground have now been identified correctly, (although please let me know in the comments section if you believe I’ve got the name wrong).

There are 6 species of Raven or Crow in Australia, with the 3 Currawongs adding to an easy-to-mistake identification.

First I cast aside any bird photo that didn’t fall into my state of Victoria, then dismissed the ones with dark eyes and carefully read the description to reveal the name Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides).

I think Jim’s description finally clinched it.

47-56cm Large, familiar, and the largest Australia Crow.  Entirely glossy black, with an oily sheen in sunlight.  Throat feathers of adult bushy and bristly, especially during calling, when body is characteristically held horizontal.  (yes, this description definitely looked like the bird on the right side of my photo).  Eye white in adult.   Beak long, strong and black, with slightly convex ridge to upper mandible.

Immature duller with brown eye.  Mated pairs characteristically sedentary, roaming flocks of non-breeders small, not cohesive as in very similar Little Raven.

And so on………

This identification was a hard one for me as I’m not good at judging bird size from any distance and 8 (out of the 9) birds in the book have white eyes.

23 thoughts on “AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides)

    1. Definitely Peggy. I usually call all those big black birds ‘crows’ which is a mistake, especially in Victoria. They are usually House Ravens. I think this is the first time (above) I have seen an Australian Raven, but who’s to say how many I’ve incorrectly identified.

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  1. Hello Vicki, I do live in Australia. You would have loved my Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge which ran over 13 weeks. The Challenge has now concluded. Corvids, and especially the Australian Raven, are some of my favourite birds. Kind regards. Tracy.

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      1. I did have a look at your latest posts too, Vicki. You take such lovely photos. My philosophy is that the wilderness is outside our doors. It seems a philosophy you share.
        Take care, Vicky, and stay safe. I know Victoria is up to this latest challenge. We are all barracking for you.

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    1. After chuckling over your comment here — I read ‘Corvid’ as ‘Covid’ — I visited your blog and enjoyed what I saw, especially the recent posts about the birds. Very enjoyable.

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    1. Thanks Tanja. I don’t know what I’d do without my Bird Guide book – it’s such a good one. I flipped through many pages of other books in the book store, but none were as good and I didn’t want to buy a large hardcover book either. I could actually take this book out on a nature walk I suppose.

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      1. It’s nice to have a favorite reference, Vicki. I like to carry mine with me as it helps to refresh my memory right there and then. Many people use their smart phones to look up birds or plants, but I’m a dinosaur in some ways, still prefer the printed guidebooks.

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  2. I really need to sort out our ravens, crows, and such. My grandmother always spoke of the ‘rain ravens’ as announcers of a weather change, but now I’m not certain (again) whether those birds truly were ravens. More research is required!

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    1. Some of the smaller birds are just as difficult to identify too, Linda. Especially the plain brown birds.

      It’s only in the last 2 years that I’ve managed to ID the Grey Teal. But once you remember that they have a whitish-grey neck, it’s easier. Female Pacific Black Ducks and female Chestnut Teals are another similar sight. The male and female Chestnut teals always seem to be together, so the male Chestnut Teal ID helps me out there.

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    1. The Currawongs are definitely difficult. I’m still not sure my photo of a couple on the ground in the Royal Botanic Gardens are Currawongs. You’re right about the eye colour.

      I’ve still got some photos of what I think are Northern Shovelers, but they must be some sort of hybrid as they don’t completely match the image in my book. Then I turn to Google Images which usually shows a few variations which helps.

      I always like to have names and labels on my images, or at least the folders I sort them into, but lost all the photo library folders in a computer crash and still haven’t got around to finishing the new library.

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  3. In my two-dozen or so visits to Australia, I’ve always enjoyed listening to the calls of the crows and ravens and comparing them to the ones in my experience. I especially noted the throaty “woah-woah,” of yours, while the Minnesota varieties speak with a rather raucous “caw-caw.” Fascinating!

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    1. You probably see so many out in the country or bushland – not so many for me in the suburbs, but then, I’m looking for smaller birds or herons/egrets to photograph usually 😀

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  4. Stunning clear shining photo! Whenever I visit family in Australia – I love watching the screeching rainbow lorikeets, ravens, currawong. Please do share a photo of Currawong soon with Jim’s description. In fact, back home in India..the scaly breasted Munia bird is building a nest on our terrace ledge.How exciting is bird watching!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Veena.
      I’ve only got 1 (or maybe 2) shots of a Currawong – I’ll see if I can find it. I know it’s not in a separate ‘bird folder’.
      It’s late now on Wednesday night, so I’ll have a look in the morning for you 🙂

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