Home > Corvids: Unkindnesses & Murders
Corvidae (crows, ravens, jackdaws, rooks, among others) are some of the most intelligent animals–they use tools, can solve problems with minimal trial-and-error and share information amongst their flock.
And, apparently, they enjoy playing in the snow:
One of my favourite facts is that a flock of crows is called a murder and a flock of ravens are an unkindness. And this is why grackles should be included in the family, because a flock of those are called a plague.
And they look like this:
But back to the official corvids…
Information & Trivia on Ravens & Crows
First, if you’re confused about the different types of corvids, here is a graphic to help distinguish between them:
Here is a huge version, which you need to see to appreciate the detail and effort put into this work of art.
24Books has excellent information about the mythology around ravens.
But, if you would like more, Wikipedia to the rescue!
When the Scandinavians were invading the Anglo-Saxons, they’d fly something similar to this:
Which the Christian Anglo-Saxons thought must be imbued with the evil power of pagan idols. That’s right. Booga booga.
Here’s a little info on Charles Dickens’ pet raven, Grip , which inspired Poe’s famous poem. While on this page , you’ll find even more information (start halfway down the page, two paragraphs above this photo of the taxidermied Grip):
Speaking of Poe’s poem, the Baltimore Ravens are the only sports team to be named after a literary creation. They won some sort of sporting competition recently, I think. They have a pretty fantastic logo.
And, of course, there are the famous ravens at the Tower of London .
Whilst doing research for this post, I learned that April 27th is International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day (ICRAD, which sounds like something a corvid would say). Here is a photo set from Facebook celebrating the day (they have a set of videos , as well.)
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has an entire page of audio and video of ravens and crows . The reason the ‘crow’ link includes jays and magpies is because the entire corvidae family are called crows. Ravens are a type of crow, as are jays and magpies, etc.
And if you’ve ever wondered what crows get up to during the day, you can follow streetcrow on Twitter and find out.
Gifts for Fans of Crows & Ravens
It was also from Dahlia Jane that I learned about this amazing mask :
It’s leather and the bottom of the beak snaps off, making it two masks, really. It sold last month, but perhaps if you ask nicely he’ll make another.
And something I would love (and would actually wear all the time) is this t-shirt of Huginn and Muninn (Odin’s ravens) from November Fire :
More gift ideas here .
Images of Crows & Ravens
Serinadruid has quite a few raven-themed photos
Amusing images of crows and ravens are here .
And some Raven/Crow themed wallpapers:
Finally, no post about corvids would be complete without a picture of my tattoo, which is a tribute to both Tim Burton (not his illustration, but could be) and Edgar Allan Poe:
A friend of mine described it as: ‘If Severus Snape were an animagus that’s what he’d look like.’ So… it was even more perfect than I’d originally intended.
[If an image in this post is uncredited and you know the author's name, please leave a comment.]