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Little Raven - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by Rose Fletcher
Victor Harbor, South Australia, Australia, September 2009
Corvus mellori


48 - 50cm. A medium-sized crow.

  • Plumage glossy black
  • White eye
  • Bifurcated throat hackles and grey feather-bases (in hand)
  • Black bill and legs

Sexes similar, juveniles duller than adults with shorter hackles and pink gape

Similar species

Slightly smaller than Australian Raven and Forest Raven. Best distinguished by voice and by quick flight. Also more sociable than Australian Raven.


Endemic to southeast Australia.
Abundant and widespread.


This is a monotypic species.
It was regarded as a subspecies of Australian Raven in the past and only separated in 1967 as a distinct species.


Scrub, agricultural areas, alpine habitat, littoral and grazing pasture. Avoids dense forest.
Found from seashore to 2000m.


An omnivorous scavenger and predator. Feeds mainly on invertebrates, small birds, eggs, nestlings, small mammals and carrion. Takes sometimes frit, seed and other plant material.
Forages in small to large flocks.
Breeding season from July to November. The nest is a large bowl made of sticks. It's usually placed less than 10m above the ground in a tree fork, shrub or on a man-made structure like windmill platforms or uitility poles. Lays 1 - 6, usually 3 - 5 eggs.
Resident. Non-breeders may wander around in groups.


Its call is a guttural "kar-kar-kar-kar" or "ark-ark-ark-ark".


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Simpson, K and N Day. 1998. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4877-5

Recommended Citation

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