Baby Raven: Everything You Need To Know

Baby Raven

One of the most widely distributed passerine birds, the Common Raven (Corvus corax) is a large, all-black bird that is now a frequent sight in many urban situations. 

Their population has grown to such an extent that in many areas, they are even considered pets! 

This popularity among species can simply be attributed to its vast and varied diet that is omnivorous in nature but more importantly, is highly flexible and can be made to include whatever is available at a given moment from seeds and fruit to carrion.

A rare sight when you talk about these sinister-looking birds is their babies. Rarely do you catch sight of their babies or the babies of their close cousins, crows? 

Ravens are secretive and protective little creatures which is why you are not able to find their nests and hence their babies often. 

But even without seeing it, it is a fascinating ordeal to see nature work its magic and see the babies transform from hairless hatchlings to developing juveniles. 

So today, we are going to take a deep dive into everything you need to know about baby ravens. Let’s get right into it!

What Does A Baby Raven Look Like?

Baby Raven
Am I The Only One Who Thinks Baby Raven Look Like Demogorgon From Stranger Things!

The chicks or babies of most species of ravens, including the common raven, hatch with a light covering of shaggy, fluffy, darkish gray plumage, through which their pink skin can be seen. 

Some species might have a denser coating of this gray plumage at birth while others have a pinker, naked-looking body in general. 

A huge distinguishing factor to see if the raven in front of you is a baby or not is its eyes. Baby ravens sport wonderful blue eyes as opposed to their color when they grow up.

Baby Raven Size, Weight, and Wingspan

Compared to the cold and often sinister look they are perceived to have in their adult life, with their large but sleek and compact body and their dark-colored iridescent wings, the birds’ babies are tiny adorable little things. 

They come to about 2-4 inches in height and weigh a meager 5-6 ounces or so only, but development is a rapid process after the initial hatchling phase. 

As babies, they are not yet ready to move out into the world and use their wings, as they are still under construction. 

Once their nesting period is complete, they are still only taking their first steps, and a full wingspan of almost 45 inches can be achieved once they become full-grown adults.

What Is A Baby Raven Called?

Baby ravens have no specific term that refers to only them and a general term like “chick” is used to refer to them. 

Another way of referring to the babies is on the basis of the stage of development they are undergoing. 

Babies that have just hatched from their eggs are referred to as hatchlings and those that are undergoing exterior development in the protection of their parents’ nest are called nestlings. 

Finally, when the nesting period is complete, the birds make their first attempts at flight, by which time they are referred to as fledglings.

What Does A Baby Raven Eat?

Even with their size and strength, baby ravens are fed soft and regurgitated food items for about a period of two weeks before they are given more solid foods like their parents. 

As aforementioned, they have an omnivorous diet and feed on a vast variety of things from seeds, grains, fruits, and berries to small animals, small nesting birds, and even carrion – though the last three are more big bird foods.

As the female is busy staying with the young, looking after them, and keeping them warm, the father raven is responsible for foraging for food and feeding it to the young ones as well as the mate in some cases. 

For the first two weeks, the food is partially eased into their systems through regurgitation, after which they learn to do it themselves.

Baby Raven Beak Color And Size

Though adult ravens easily have one of the largest bills among passerines, the babies have a very tiny cute, and mini version. 

As soon as they are hatched out, they have a darker gray outer edge that fades into the bright pink color of the insides. 

As they grow more and more, it is this gray color that evolves into black and quickly turns the whole bill black.

Baby Raven Behavior And Vocalizations

Baby ravens don’t make loud crazy noises during their development except when they are calling their parents for attention or crying for food, which is a higher-pitched vocalization than usual. 

If you are suspecting ravens for some serious noise pollution, then the juvenile is probably the culprit. 

They make a high-pitched screaming call during their fledgling stage which gets on many sets of nerves.

Ornithologists looked into the wide variety of calls exhibited by adults of this species and have recognized about 15 – 30 general categories of calls and sounds that have certain purposes each. 

This can range from alarm calls to chase/attack calls to flight calls to calls for attention, and so on. 

As opposed to a crow’s caw-caw, ravens have a more pronounced and deeper-pitched prruk-prruk call that stands out once you have the ear for it.

What Are The Differences Between Baby Ravens And Baby Crows?

A simple and straightforward way to look at the difference between these two similar species is by looking at their size

Ravens are generally larger than crows, and so will the babies be much larger at their 2 – 4 inches when compared to the few centimeters and 1 ounce of the baby crow.

Another primary difference, that only comes to show a little later in their life is through their plumage. 

Ravens tend to have fluffier, rougher-looking plumage with extra feathering at the throat region that is called “hackles”. 

Crows not only lack this extra feature, but also generally have shorter, thinner, and sleeker feathering which gives them a more clean appearance.

How Long Do Baby Ravens Stay With Their Parents?

Ravens have a very quick development and move out much quicker than many other bird and animal species. 

They have a nesting period of about a month or so, after which they take their first flight and explore their vicinity, still under their parent’s watchful eyes. 

Fascinatingly though, even once the ravens grow up, there have been cases observed where they maintain long-term family bonds, never starting too far away from the family unit even when they have nestlings of their own.

Can You Keep A Baby Raven As A Pet?

No, cause that would be violating the law! That’s right, it is illegal to own ravens, babies or not! This is according to The Migratory Bird Act of 1916 which made it illegal for any individual to own migratory birds endemic to the United States unless they were licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

In Conclusion

So that was a complete rundown about the rarely seen babies of this very commonly sighted bird! 

As with any bird family, it is a world of knowledge to look into their nests and their cycles, and I hope you enjoyed this little venture into one aspect of their vast and wonderful lives!

Thank you for reading!

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