Corvid 2020 Weekly Challenge #9

My wonderful friend Tracy from over at Reflections of An Untidy Mind started a lovely new blog challenge nine weeks ago – the Corvid 2020 Weekly Challenge.

Here’s a little snippet from her, so you know what it’s all about:

“Corvids are birds belonging to the Corvidae family, encompassing ravens, crows, magpies, jays and nutcrackers. So peruse your corvid photo, poetry, music and story archives and join the challenge.

You can participate in the Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge by creating a pingback to this post (my pingback approval settings are set up for manual approval, so it may take a little while for your pingback to appear) and/or by leaving a hyperlink to your submission in the comments. Tag your post Corvid-2020 or C20WC. I really do hope you will join in.”

White-headed vulture and White-necked raven sharing a meal. (May 2020)

Sparing neither expense nor effort in order to participate in this challenge and to bring you exclusive photographic material, I’ve been to the Berlin Zoo yesterday!

(Okay, I do have an annual ticket so didn’t need to spend another Euro for the privilege, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)

What’s also been fantastic – apart from detecting a White-necked raven this time which made me giggle with joy at the prospect to share it with you here today – was, that I ventured out to do something fun instead of just do the grocery shopping in what feels like ages!!

A White-headed vulture and a White-necked raven (May 2020)

But back to the bird of the week!

The White-necked raven (Corvus albicollis), or “Geierrabe” (“Vulture raven”) as it is called in German, is somewhat smaller (50–54 cm in length) than the common raven or its nearest relative, the thick-billed raven.

It is native to eastern and Southern Africa preferably in open, mountainous country. These days however it is quite commonly found in small towns and villages as well, as long as there are mountains or hills for roosting and nesting relatively nearby.

“Where to pick next?”

Though predominantly black, the throat, breast and neck can show a faint purple gloss. There is also a large patch of white feathers on the nape of the neck, lending it its name.

White-necked raven (May 2020)

Most of this bird’s food is obtained from the ground, but it will take food from trees as well.

It has been seen to drop a tortoise from a height on to hard ground, preferably on rocks, and then swoop down to eat it, or even pick it up again if not sufficiently broken.

White-necked ravens will also readily take carrion from road kills. Fruit, grain, insects, small reptiles, peanuts and human food are also readily taken and the bird forages in back yards and gardens quite openly.

Like all or most raven species, the White-necked raven form flocks after leaving their parents and once fully matured will pair off and form territories. It is often found in the company of other scavengers such as kites or vultures.

“Now what?”

Did you ever see a White-necked raven?

Hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe learned something new about the fascinating world of corvids!

Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

32 thoughts on “Corvid 2020 Weekly Challenge #9

  1. This is a somewhat gruesome post, what with these photos. OK, I’m actually laughing about what I wrote and also about what you photographed. Given the Covid crisis we’re all living through, this photo of a raven and vulture sharing a meal isn’t far from the truth for all of us. Getting food under these dire circumstances sometimes feels exactly this way – think, neighbors each grabbing for the last package of ground beef at the market. Who’s being gruesome now?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! They look like crows, only with white necks, but are much more formidable. It was great to learn about them, but I think I’m glad we don’t have them in the States. Thanks for the photos and the information, Sarah! I always learn something from you blog…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Ann! We only have them in the zoo – I think I might be a bit scared if they’d show up in my neighborhood. 😉 That beak’s definitely to watch out for!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It rather does, doesn’t it? Strangely I’m quite fond of ravens and vultures, especially the latter has such impressive plumage and wings! And as you said, very intelligent eyes. 😀


  3. Thanks for such an informative post, Sarah. I’ve never seen a white-necked raven either, and honestly, I get ravens and crows mixed up. 🙂 On the subject of birds, my sister has 3 huge parrots. They’re beautiful, but I couldn’t live with their loud, obnoxious squawking. When they talk and mimic us is when they’re fascinating. Anyway, enjoy your birdies. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Lauren! 😀 Usually ravens are all black so quite distinguishable from crows, also they have much bigger and more impressive beaks. 😉
      Wow! 3 Parrots! I can imagine the riot! LOL! Whenever I visited the bird parlor in our zoo the parrots made such noise that my ears began to hurt! 😂 But they’re very pretty to look at, so I simply put my fingers in my ears. 😉
      Glad you enjoyed this post, and wishing you a beautiful weekend ahead! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We have ravens in our area, but I don’t know if I’ve seen one, certainly not up close. (They all look like crows to me from a distance). And I’m so glad you’re getting outside to the zoo, Sarah. What fun! We’re still staying home until we see what’s happening with the covid (not the bird variety) free-for-all over here in the US. Thank goodness for the sunshine in the garden. Happy bird-watching!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana! It’s been so wonderful to get outside and visit the zoo again. Still a lot of rules in place but hopefully there won’t be another lockdown. Will see what the numbers say in a few weeks and if Germany can keep lifting restrictions or not. Hope this will soon be the case for you too, but in the meantime enjoy your garden! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my god, it is fiendish. Love it. Great info. Great bird. I am completely entranced by the power of that beak.

    Top marks, Ms Sarah. You really are getting into this documentary making business. 🙂 This is on top of your art making and curating, as well as your film and music critic duties. I am in awe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww – thank you so much, Tracy! You’re making me blush! 😙
      That beak is so glorious, isn’t it? And I was so happy they actually had lunch time because there are no public feedings at the zoo at the moment to avoid huge gatherings of people.
      Your challenge is such fun, thank you for having the idea and starting and inviting us to join you. It’s a lovely thing to occupy one’s mind with something else than wearing your mask to do the shopping from time to time. ❤


  6. Congrats on the fun outing! How lovely yiu got to see a corvid species for this post! (I’ve been meaning to join in on this challenge — once my busy project is done I’ll have to get on it!) I don’t think I’ve seen a white necked raven before… but I want to now that I know a lot about them thanks to you 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun indeed, especially with capturing this raven so busily enjoying its lunch. 😄 Really hope you can make it and join this challenge – you should be able to find lots of material on your walks! 😀 I’ve just watched a documentary about Korean wildlife birds – the woodpecker was especially lovely and so amazing, also it made me think of your lovely drawing of one. 😉💕

      Liked by 1 person

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