The raven is a magnificent bird; bigger than a buzzard, it is the largest passerine (perching) bird in Europe (2), and is deeply embedded in mythology (4). The glossy plumage is entirely black with greenish and lilac sheens. The large bill is very thick and heavy looking (2), the wings are narrow, and the tail is wedge-shaped (2). The sexes are similar in appearance, but females are somewhat smaller than males (5). Juveniles are duller than adults, and have a variable amount of brown in the plumage (5). A variety of vocalisations are produced, including a 'korrp' call and a 'krack-krack-krack' of alarm. In spring and during courtship, a range of unusual sounds can be heard such as clucks, a 'klong' and pops (2)(5).
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