Re: birding-aus Urban Ravens

To: Philip A Veerman <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Urban Ravens
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 22:16:48 +1100

Philip A Veerman wrote:
> birding-aus
> Alan Morris wrote answering the enquiry about Little Ravens in Sydney.
> I'm sure those comments are correct but I'd like to amplify them a
> bit. The
> Little Raven is (or certainly was) the common corvid in urban
> Melbourne (so
> they rather more than "extend" into Melbourne). At least in the late
> 1970s,
> big flocks of them used to roost around Austin Hospital and La Trobe
> University.
> The Australian Raven also occurs in Melbourne but nowhere near as
> many. By
> my very one sided informal observations, in my four years at La Trobe
> University, my only record of the Australian Raven was one pair once.
> Although of course I would have missed others.
> As for Canberra, the Australian Raven is the common urban species and
> occupies city parks and streets, indeed I had a pair that had three
> nestings
> in the eucalypt in my quite ordinary suburban yard in 1996 & 1997 and
> another somewhere nearby in 1998. Maybe strangely, the Little Raven is
> not
> an urban bird around Canberra. It does occur, usually in large flocks
> on the
> fringes of Canberra: the grasslands and woodlands. There are also many
> records of birds flying over the suburbs and they go to the high
> country to
> feed on Bogong moths. However to the best of my knowledge of 15 years
> living
> here and running the Garden Bird Survey for several years, the Little
> Raven
> is very much marginal in suburban Canberra, even though at nearby
> Cooma and
> high country they occupy the high people areas.
> It seems that most places (or at least urban places) only support one
> common
> corvid species. Around NW NSW such as Sturt National Park, it is
> interesting
> to see and hear the biggest and smallest species (Aust Raven & Little
> Crow)
> together.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: morris <>
> To: Ian Montgomery <>; 
> <>
> Date: Monday, 8 February 1999 12:08
> Subject: birding-aus Little Ravens in Sydney?
> >birding-aus
> >
> >Ian Montgomery wrote
> >
> >
> >> Do Little Ravens occur in Sydney? I heard, but didn't see, some
> Corvids
> >> yesterday evening where I live in Balmain, inner suburbs, which
> didn't
> >> sound at all like Australian Ravens - short "kark" rather than
> wailing,
> >> descending call.
> >>
> >
> >Ian,
> >
> >> There are no records yet for Little Ravens in urban Sydney although
> they
> do
> >> occasionally occur in far western Sydney on the Cumberland Plain.
> That is
> >> not to say that they could not extend to urban Sydney as they have
> done
> in
> >> Melbourne and Canberra. However as you did not see the bird and as
> there
> are
> >> plenty of young Australian Ravens around at present making many odd
> calls, I
> >> am inclined to say that you may have been mistaken.
> >
> >Alan Morris
> >Records Officer NSWFOC
> >
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> >
> >
> >
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Of course Little Ravens were only officially noticed from c.1968-70 on,
but they were always around. As a birdminded Melbourne schoolgirl c.
1954, I recall the presence of what everyone called 'crows' and that
they nested near home in a big cedar in Camberwell. Adults said it was
surprising that they would live in the suburbs, relating it to the
absence of boys with pea-rifles.  I am sure that these birds were
Little Ravens, because their call was 'normal', but when we went up the
bush we heard and noticed the different long-drawn out call of the
Australian Raven.
  Certainly Little Ravens seem the common bird all over Melbourne. I
have seen a few Australian Ravens in the western suburbs and odd birds
here and there - two years ago one was calling while walking on a nature
strip in Mont Albert Rd. The baggy throat and beard was quite
  Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
call of the Australian Raven
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