Ravens & Crows as Pets? A Pet Lovers Guide

The popularity of Ravens and Crows are ascribable to their esoteric and mysteriously dark appearance. But is it advisable to keep Ravens and Crows as pets? Let’s find that out and even more in this article.

Is it advisable for me to keep a crow or raven as a pet in my home? The answer is No. Not legally. This is because the raven and the crow are migratory birds (birds that travel from place to place regularly, usually over long distances. Crows and Ravens cannot legally be kept as pets because they need to fly over long distances at least two times every year. However, there are ways through which you can invite them into your garden and start a friendship. They are among the most intelligent birds in the world and have the exceptional ability to learn to identify and accept you quickly.

Things To Take into Consideration before Choosing Ravens And Crows As Pets

The major reason people love to keep Crows or Ravens as pets is that they are super smart. We will get back to this point in a short while.

Before you venture out to try to catch a Raven or a Crow with the intention to keep it as your pet, there are certain things we think you should take into consideration.

-Ravens and Crows are wild birds

This simply means that their real place is with nature, and so they probably might not behave domesticated enough inside a cage, no matter how huge the cage is or the openness of the environment in which yo place them. On that note, you should not expect that a Crow or Raven you were lucky enough to catch would sit inside a small bird box all day long waiting for you to get home from work or school to play with it.

Based on research, Ravens and Crows can live for over 20 years and sometimes 30 years. When you sum up this information with the fact that they are very social creatures, you realize why they might become a considerable burden.

Even if you can rescue a little Crow and you decide to take care of it, you must guide it back into its natural habitat (the air) within a short time from when you found it. Or else, It will be unable to create family ties with other Crows. These family ties are of immense importance to the crow because they live in groups. Being sidelined or chased from the company of other crows is probably one of the most terrible events that can happen to this bird.

-They can give terrible bites

-The bite of a Raven is super strong.

-They can also break a small bone in your body.

But they typically will not bite a human being. They will usually just do a bit of a warning signal with their beak. However, if you do not take the utmost care or if the Raven gets upset, it just might hurt you with a painful bite. You will have the option of pulling its beak away from your skin, but you probably will not feel comfortable doing it. So, it’s advisable that you wait it out since its bite does not last too long. The moment the Raven notices that you are walking away, it quickly loses its grip on you.

Ensure to maintain a reasonable distance from Raven’s nest (or the nest of any pet). Nests are the places where people are very likely to get bitten, and the Raven can become extremely aggressive. The same thing applies to Crows and other big birds.

-They can get loud

Ravens and Crows do not sing in the same way that other birds do. They have an unattractive sort of call that sounds a lot like squeaking. But if you’re looking to keep a Crow of Raven as a pet, likely, you aren’t exactly searching for a cute bird with a lovely singing voice. Isn’t that right?

Crows can make a wide variety of sounds, but they will typically do some gurgling croak that sounds identical to an alarm call. In contrast, Ravens can make more beautiful sounds that are more melodious.

Now here’s a tip: Before you embark on your journey to becoming a local raven master, keep in mind that Ravens tend to call out to each other by shouting over long distances. The sound of a Raven calling out to another bird can be heard from miles away.

-They cannot thrive on their own

Ravens do not live properly when they’re alone. They are obsessed with moving in pairs of two. They are also extremely territorial birds and will take full authority over their space. This is one reason you will hear them call out loudly to each other over long distances. During the day, Ravens will typically inspect every part of their territory and communicate with each other while at it. If an enemy threatens them, they will quickly shout to each other. The enemy could be either a bigger animal or a human being.

They need a lot of space

This is why it is almost impossible and not advisable to keep the Raven indoors. It is a wild bird, and it requires plenty of space to enable it to jump around from one pole to the other and feel like it’s entirely in charge of its domain.

Like all other territory birds, Ravens and Crows enjoy flying over long distances to feel like they’re in total control of their territory. So, unless you have a vast property/land with lots of space, keeping them might be a considerable challenge.

If you’re lucky enough to capture and cage a Raven or Crow, it will get super bored in minutes. Don’t forget that the Raven is one of the smartest birds in the world. So there is no doubt that the cage will limit it from reaching its full potential. If you intend to keep one, the least you can do is provide a large outdoor aviary. But naturally, these birds would instead fly over long distances to watch over their territory.

A special permit is required

In the U.S, you must have an exclusive license to keep a Crow as a pet. The same applies if you find a Crow that requires special care to live. You might not get into any trouble since this isn’t something that is given much attention.

If authorities come to know that you’re keeping a Crow as a pet, the bird will be confiscated. According to Crows.net, you are at risk of federal penalties, but you will not be bothered by anyone in many cases.

Keeping a Crow or Raven as a pet is illegal for one simple reason- it is a migratory bird.

Crows and Ravens are protected under the migratory bird act of 1918. This act aims to protect birds that travel over long distances to find warmer territories during the winter or to lay eggs. If you would like to obtain a special permit to keep Ravens or Crows, you must have a very valid reason. Writing a lengthy letter to the authorities explaining your wealth of experience with birds is not enough. You must apply from a specialized care center for birds, a wildlife rehabilitation center, or a nature reserve.

How You Can Keep Ravens and Crows as Pets

Based on all this information, you understand now why it is not advisable to keep these fantastic birds as pets. Instead, you can simply provide some food and try to entice it to visit you now and then. If you have numerous encounters with Ravens or Crows over a long period, it will grow on you, which might lead to a lasting friendship. However, you need to take your time to build trust because these birds typically see humans as threats.

Below are a few nuggets on how to lure a Crow to your garden 

1. Feed them daily at a particular time

Ravens and Crows love to eat anything they find. Ensure that you feed them at dawn or dusk, as these are their most preferred eating times. Always keep a piece of meat in your garden, but note that it might attract unwanted animals.

2. Keep Eggs in your garden

These birds love eggs. Keeping a few eggs in the garden will quickly call their attention.

3. Make your garden comfortable for them

Try not to keep other pets such as dogs and cats, noisy objects, or any dangerous-looking equipment around.

4. They love trees

Ravens and Crows, just like other birds, like to sit in trees. So, ensure that you have some beautiful trees around that they can land on.

5. Keep little shiny objects around your garden 

Ravens and Crows like to play with shiny objects. Objects that can reflect the sun’s rays into the air to get their attention as they fly past your house.

6. Place a fake Raven in your garden

One of the best ways to lure a raven into your garden is by placing a phony raven insight. You can also set a couple of fake ravens in your trees; this trick gets them all the time!

If you carefully follow all or any of these tips, you should be able to attract a raven or two. Then again, it all requires patience. These are wild birds, and they will not come close to any environment that looks dangerous.

How Smart are Ravens and Crows? 

Ravens are Crows are some of the most brilliant birds in the world. They have shown self-awareness when placed in front of mirrors, where they immediately recognized themselves! Ravens and Crows also have the ability to create tools from wood. They have a pretty big brain that is entirely proportionate to their body size. That explains why they are so intelligent and able to carry out complex tasks and calculations.

Ravens have the ability to show emotion

In the Tower of London, a Ravenmaster has been assigned to look after 6 Ravens. Based on his reports, Ravens can show various emotions, such as:

•Excitement

•Sadness

•Frustration

•Anger

•Pain

He also says that they each possess diverse behavioral patterns and have their unique personalities. This makes a lot of sense when you think of how smart they are.

Are Crows Related to Ravens?

Yes. Crows and Ravens are related as they both belong to the bird family-tree called Corvid. Another term used in describing Corvids is “Crow” or “The crow family” The correct name is ‘Corvids.’

The Corvids include:

-Treepies

-Jays

-Nutcrackers

-Magpies

-Crows

-Ravens

-Rooks

-Choughs

-Jackdaws

As mentioned above, all Corvid birds have a high level of intelligence.

What is the Natural Habitat of Ravens and Crows?

Ravens and Crows are found in nearly every part of the globe. The only places they do not live are South America and the ice poles environs.

Most Corvids reside around Africa, Australia, South Asia, and the tropical south of Central America. They are great at flying long distances.

Many ravens have even been spotted in oceanic islands.

Can Ravens Talk?

Yes, they can!

Ravens are one of the smartest birds on earth and their intelligence can be likened to that of a 7-year-old child. They are a lot like parrots so they talk by mimicking words but don’t be surprised as they may not say what you want them to say when you want them to say it.

Becoming a Ravenmaster

The job of a Ravenmaster is a special and unique one. It is a one-person job, and we do not know of any other places (asides the Tower of London) where this job can be gotten. So you will be fortunate if you eventually became a Ravenmaster. Here’s a Twitter post by the present raven master.

Chris Skaife has successfully held this job position for over three years and might be keeping it for a long time. He is a veteran in the British military, but the story does not state anything about how his military portfolio was relevant to him landing the raven master job.

 

10 Amazing Facts About Ravens

Edgar Allan Poe made a smart decision by opting for the raven instead of some random -bird to croak out “nevermore” in his well-known poem. For centuries, ravens have been associated with dark omens, including death. However, the real bird in itself is a mystery. 

There isn’t much-written information about the raven, unlike its smaller cousin- the crow. Here are 10 interesting facts about ravens.

1.Ravens move around in teenage gangs

Ravens live in pairs and mate in a fixed territory. As soon as their children attain adolescence, they leave their homes and join gangs. 

They then live and do everything together until they mate and pair off. One interesting phenomenon is that ravens find it stressful to live among teenagers. According to findings by scientists, there are higher levels of stress hormones in teenage raven droppings than there are in mated adults’ droppings. It is really hard work being a teenage rebel!

2. Ravens have the ability to display empathy

Although ravens are mischievous, they can feel empathy. When the friend of a raven gets defeated in a fight, they tend to console their friend who lost. They are also capable of remembering bird that they like and will respond in a friendly manner to certain birds even after three years of meeting them.

 Keep in mind though that ravens respond negatively to threats or enemies, and they also respond suspiciously to other strange ravens.

 Even though a flock of ravens is called an ‘unkindness’, these birds appear to be the exact opposite. 

3. Ravens are highly adaptable

Ravens are capable of surviving in a vast majority of habitats, from forests to mountains to desert and even snow. They are scavengers with an enormous diet that does not exclude carrion, fruit, seeds, meat, fish and even garbage. 

They are also fond of tricking other animals out of their food. For example- a raven will distract another raven with the intent to steal its food. They have a long life-span and very few predators. They can last up to 17 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity. 

4. Ravens are skilled in communication via hand gestures

Yes! You got that right. Ravens use highly sophisticated nonverbal signs, based on research. To put simply, ravens communicate by making gestures. 

According to a study in Austria, ravens point with their beaks to show an object to another bird, the same way we humans do with our fingers. 

They can also hold up an object to get the attention of another bird. This is the first of such researches which have found naturally occurring gestures in any animal asides primates. 

5. Ravens do unbelievable things with ants known as “anting”


Ravens love to lay lie down or roll around so that the ants swarm on them, or they chew up the ants and rub their guts on their feathers. “Anting” is the scientific name for this. Jays, crows and songbirds do it as well. 

This behaviour is not very clear; theories range from the ants trying to do the job of an insecticide for the bird to ant secretion, soothing the skin of a molting bird and then to the entire performance being a minor addiction. One thing is crystal clear all the same; if you’re a bird, anting feels excellent. 

6.Ravens are very playful

The Native Americans weren’t wrong about the mischievous nature of the raven. They have been observed in Canada and Alaska sliding their way through snow-covered roofs. In Maine, they have been spotted severally rolling happily down snowy hills. 

Ravens usually play keep-away with other animals such as dogs, otter and even wolves. What’s more? Ravens also make toys using rocks, golf balls, pinecones and sticks to play by themselves or in pairs. Other times, they mock or taunt other creatures all because it’s funny. 

7. Ravens have served very important roles in ancient mythology

From Greece to Tibet, many cultures have used ravens to send messages for the gods. Often, Celtic goddesses of warfare took the form of ravens during wars and battles.

 Odin, the Viking god, owned two ravens – Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory). These two ravens flew the length and breadth of the world daily and reported back to Odin every night about the things that they had seen. 

The Chinese believed that ravens caused terrible weather in the forest as a warning to the people that the gods would be passing by. And certain Native American tribes worshipped the raven as a deity in itself. Addressed only as ‘Raven’, he is described as a cunning trickster who has a part in the creation of the world. 

8. Europeans liken the raven to the devil

Long ago, a lot of European cultures attributed the raven to evil in the flesh. In France, it is believed that ravens were the souls of wicked priests while crows were the souls of evil and wicked nuns. 

In Germany, the raven is perceived as Satan himself! In Sweden, ravens that croaked endlessly during the night were thought to be the souls of murdered people who didn’t get proper Christian burials.

Ravens in Denmark are considered exorcised spirits, and you dare not make the mistake of staring up at them in case a bird’s wing had a hole. Otherwise, you risk becoming a raven yourself. 

9.Ravens can imitate human speech

Ravens in captivity can learn to speak better than even parrots can. They also have the unique ability to mimic other noises like birdcalls, animal noises, toilets flushing, car engines and so forth.

 Ravens can also imitate foxes or wolves to attract them to carcasses that the raven is unable to break open. As soon as the wolf is done with the meal, the raven eats the leftovers. 

10. Ravens are among the smartest animals 

In terms of intelligence, these birds are as smart as chimpanzees and dolphins. In logic tests, the raven was given the task of grabbing a hanging piece of food by simply pulling up some part of the string, anchoring it with its claw and repeating the process until the food was reachable. 

A lot of ravens were able to get the food at once, other within 30 seconds. In the wild, ravens have played dead near a beaver carcass to scare other ravens away from a sumptuous feast, they have stolen fish by pulling a fisherman’s lines right out of ice holes, and they have even pushed rocks on people to keep them from climbing to their nests. 

If a raven gets a hint that another raven is watching it hide its food, it will pretend as though it is putting the food there, while trickily placing it somewhere else entirely. But since the other ravens are very smart too, this doesn’t always work.