Corvid Behaviour

To: "Scot Mcphee" <>
Subject: Corvid Behaviour
From: "Douglas Carver" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 06:39:42 -0600
Bernd Heinrich notes similar behaviours amongst Common raven in the Maine
woodlands of the Northeast United States -- usually associated with sorting
out dominance issues.  I have observed these kinds of behaviours amongst
captive Common Ravens when there were young birds in the presence of an
adult bird.

Douglas Carver
Albuquerque, NM

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 4:30 AM, Scot Mcphee <> wrote:

> On 25-08-2008, at 8:03 PM, L&L Knight wrote:
>  I was outside of my house the other day when I noticed a T. Crow at the
>> back of a property across the street with its wings spread.  That was not
>> something I could recall seeing before, so I popped inside to collect my
>> binoculars.
>> I initially thought the bird was caught on something and hanging down, but
>> it moved and I was able to see that it had both its wing and tail feathers
>> fully spread - the effect reminded me a bit of the posture assumed by
>> riflebirds.  It held that attitude for a few minutes before being approached
>> by another crow and they both dropped out of sight.
>> Is that wing & tail spread position typical of corvid mating display
>> behaviour?
> Some years ago we once observed two Australian Ravens on the ground, in the
> grounds of NSW Government House. It's hard to describe what they were doing.
> They were facing each other, closely, their heads held up and back and their
> beaks open slightly, with their wings spread, held open kinda like the way a
> cormorant holds its wings out to dry, not fully spread out. Big and glossy
> blue-black birds in their prime shining in the bright sunlight. We stumbled
> upon them they were on the grounds in the garden at the back, not more than
> 3 or 4 metres away. They held this position for quite a while, i.e. 15
> minutes or more. We weren't sure whether it was a mating or dominance
> display or even a defensive posture, as there was a noisy miner harrassing
> them, but only intermittently (although why two ravens would be concerned
> with a single noisy miner, I don't know).
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