Corvus corax has many interactions with other organisms within its multiple habitats throughout the world. Some of the interactions that the common raven is associated with are important for obtaining food and shelter, and others consist of the common raven being a pest or even prey to other organisms. The common raven is directly influenced by the interactions that it has with its surroundings. These close relationships that the common raven has affects not only itself, but other organisms as well.

The common raven interacts with the plant kingdom on a daily basis. As an omnivore, the common raven is often found feeding on different grains, buds, and berries (Boarmen 1999). As the grains, buds, and berries nourish and provide energy for the common raven, the common raven at the same time helps facilitate the spread of the seeds (Nogales 1999). It is an important relationship that this bird shares with the plant kingdom, but it does not stop there. Corvus corax often uses (variation due to habitat) coniferous and deciduous trees as nesting sites. Plant materials, fibers and tissues are also the main building components of their nests in most if not all of the varying habitats that this bird lives in (Goodwin 1986).

Interaction amongst the plant kingdom is very important for the common raven, but the interactions that it has with the animal kingdom are also essential and extremely varied as well. On a daily basis, the common raven can be found preying (subject to change with environment) upon a number of animals such as: arthropods, mammals, mollusks, worms and fish (Boarmen 1999). This bird is a very influential predator within local ecosystems, but it can also be an ingenious scavenger as well. The common raven interacts with other predatory birds and mammals in order to scavenge a meal. In the Canadian arctic Corvus corax has been documented scavenging discarded cod that seabirds have captured (Matley 2012). Feeding upon large deer and elk carcasses the common raven is also often observed following large predatory mammals (Boarmen 1999). In the Yukon Territory of Canada, Corvus corax was documented scavenging upon the dead carcasses of moose that packs of wolves had killed (Kaczensky 2005). Not only a predator and scavenger, juvenile birds and eggs of the common raven have been known to become prey of owls, hawks, and eagles as well (Boarmen 1999). All of the interactions that the common raven has with other species are important, but the one that may interest us the most are the relationships that it has with humans.

Click Here to see how the common raven scavenges from larger predators!

Click Here to see the common raven interacting with other birds!

Corvus corax is often found in close association with humans (Goodwin 1986). Living in close proximity to human settlements, or even upon or in human architectural structures, the common raven is frequently seen feeding on human garbage, young sickly farm animals, and crops (Schwan 2008). Although this close relationship with humans may be beneficial to the common raven as a food source and a source of shelter, it is also harmful. Pesticides from crops, toxic plastics, hunting and trapping, deforestation, and disturbance of nest sites have all played a role in negatively affecting the common raven population (Boarmen 1999). Historically this bird has been a scavenger of carrion from human battles and wars. Due to this somewhat gruesome interaction, the common raven has received a negative image in some cultures. Seen as a nuisance to human dwellings and famers as well as its infamous association with death in multiple cultures, the common raven has been subjected to unfair persecution by humans. In order to remedy this persecution and resulting decrease in population of this bird due to its interaction with humans, some governments have implemented laws to protect them. In 1972, Mexico, Canada, and the United States began its protection of Corvids when they included them in The Migratory Bird Treaty (Schwan 2008). With a long established and close association with humans the common raven has been influential in many different culture’s mythologies and folklores.

Click Here to see a common raven interacting with humans!

Click Here to see a common raven interacting with both an eagle and humans!


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Go to Fun Page for more information concerning Corvus corax stories and mythologies!

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