The Corvids - Corvidae

Crows, Jays, Magpies and Ravens

The corvidae family consists of over 110 species that are found throughout the world. Considered one of the most intelligent bird species, crows, jays, magpies and ravens have been very much a part of man's history. Native-Americans respected the Raven for its power and intelligence. The Romans considered the Raven an omen of things to come and the Norsemen worshipped Ravens as Gods. Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain both wrote major literary works based on Ravens.

Crows are the basis for the phrase, "as the crow flys" because crows tend to fly in a straight line. Even with all this history, corvids are also looked at as disgusting blood-thirsty birds because they prey on other species, robbing eggs and taking small birds as food. Crows, Jays and Ravens are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything.

Yet, all this bad press cannot suppress the fact that they are very intelligent, often use tools and have some problem-solving abilities. Crows will take walnuts and drop them from the air onto rocks and pavement in order to open the hard shells. Ravens can be taught to speak and even Jays can learn to do certain tasks over and over again.


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