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Which Raven is Which? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

closeup of head of a chihuanuan raven
See the white feathers? Only when the wind ruffles them!

Did you know there are two kinds of ravens in the Sonoran Desert? Ravens are one of my favorite birds: intelligent, caring, magnificent in appearance. I have wondered about the wisdom of a black bird living in the hot desert sun, but they are resilient.

Several years ago, a pair of ravens hung out around the building where I worked. I always enjoyed their cawing to me as I entered or exited and I wondered every time what kind they were. You see, the Sonoran Desert has two species of ravens: the Common (Corvus corax) and the Chihuahuan (Corvus cryptoleucus). They both appear black, including their eyes, beaks and legs, and they are about the same size. They both have a heavy, powerful bill for their omnivorous ways, eating anything and everything.

So, how do you tell them apart?

The Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) is a native of both the U.S. and Mexico and its former name gives a clue as to how to tell them apart: The American White-necked Raven is now known as the Chihuahuan Raven. But where is this supposed white neck? You certainly can’t see any white feathers when it’s perched or flying. You can only see the white feathers when the wind ruffles the neck. Only then are the white feathers underneath revealed.

I was fortunate enough to see the white feathers on one of the worksite raves. I had my answer–they were Chihuahuan!

And for a fun time learning about animals, Lyric Power Publishing offers workbooks and activity sheets on a variety of creatures. We don’t yet offer a workbook on Ravens, but we do have two workbooks about the Greater Roadrunner, one for Grades K-2 and the second for Grades 2-4. The covers below show the variety of activity pages included in the workbooks.

Thank you for stopping by LPP. We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and will also enjoy and benefit from our supplemental, educational workbooks.

A green and yellow book cover with image of Greater Roadrunner

a turquoise and yellow book cover with an image of the Greater Roadrunner