Large Black Birds Overhead
I wonder what they are doing here.
Eze 39:4 Thou shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that [is] with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and [to] the beasts of the field to be devoured.
Large black birds, either ravens or crows, have appeared in my area after 25 years of not seeing any around, especially in residential neighborhoods.
We do not normally see ravens in North Carolina.
This reminds me of Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds” in which the birds took over the town, and harmed people.
My daughter thinks they are crows, but I am not sure. They soar like eagles, and they are so huge.
If they are crows, they are strange ones.
Crows, which are smaller, are a little more common for this area, and flap their wings in flight. Crows do not soar. They flap.
They might be ravens, which are rare around here. They are huge, and soar through the air. I can see them flying from at least a mile away.
Watching some of them, they are almost too big to be considered ravens as well.
I read of one type of crow that is a mix between a raven and a crow, but that is not indigenous to this area. It is from Africa, I think. It is called the Pied Crow.
As elements of nature, they respond to natural changes.
If they are ravens, either they are coming here because of a danger somewhere else, or there is about to happen something around here, and they are drawn to it.
I guess I am still undecided.
But for either crows or ravens, they are omnivorous, and can behave as birds of prey.
Isaiah had mentioned that ravenous birds would be brought in when God judged sins, and brought death to His enemies.
I just hope this is not true for my area. But, maybe it is. Makes me sad, if true.
-Information below I collected on these birds (extra reading):
(Corvus corax principalis) Crow family
AKA: NORTHERN RAVEN; AMERICAN RAVEN
26 to 27 inches
Glossy black above, with purplish and greenish reflections. Duller underneath. Feathers of the throat and breast long and loose, like fringe.
North America, from polar regions to Mexico. Rare along Atlantic coast and in the south. Common in the west, very abundant in the northwest.
An erratic wanderer, usually resident where it finds its way.
When seen in the air, the crow is the only other bird for which the raven could be mistaken; but the raven does more sailing and less flapping, and he delights in describing circles as he easily soars high above the trees. On the ground, he is seen to be a far larger bird than the largest crow. The curious beard or fringe of feathers on his breast at once distinguishes him.
Ravens acquire early on in life the fortunate habit of eating whatever their parents set before them — grubs, worms, grain, field-mice; anything, in fact, for the raven is a conspicuously omnivorous bird
Crows are smaller with squared tails
Common nests are on rock ledges and cliffs. Nest cliffs close to human activity were not taller than those in remote areas. Observed proximity of roads and dwellings to nests had no significant effect on nest productivity. Nest sites were found between 335-1130 m above sea level, with 44% below 580 m. Successful nests below 580 m fledged a mean of 3.08 young compared to 2.37 at higher elevations. Starvation of nestlings, due to a loss of feeding efficiency in adults nesting at higher elevations, was suspected.
(Corvus americanus) Crow family
AKA: CORN THIEF; COMMON CROW
16 to 17.50 inches
Glossy black with violet reflections.
Wings appear saw-toothed when spread, and almost equal the tail in length.
Like male, except that the black is less brilliant.
Throughout North America, from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico
Summer and winter resident.
When the first brood of chickens is hatched, the crow’s serious depredation begins. Not only the farmer’s young fledglings, ducks, turkeys, and chicks, are snatched up and devoured, but the nests of song birds are made desolate, eggs being crushed and eaten on the spot
Range of The Common and Familiar American Crow
In North America, the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a common sight. These noisy birds live throughout North America in summer, except for the extreme north and very deep south. In winter, they vacate the colder regions, ranging throughout the United States, southern British Columbia and Atlantic Canada.
They are common in both urban and rural areas, taking advantage of both road kill and garbage. If you see a large black bird, about 48cm (19in) long, especially in the city, it is probably an American Crow.
North American Range of The Common Raven
Common Ravens (Corvus corax), are much less common than American Crows. The normal range of Common Ravens includes all of Canada except the southern Prairie Provinces. In the United States, they occur in Alaska, in the west including the mountains, around Lake Superior, and in the northeast. Common Ravens occur in many other locations globally.
Physical Differences Between American Crows and Common Ravens
The most obvious physical difference between an American Crow and a Common Raven is size: the raven is bigger, about 63cm (25in). The difference between a large crow and a small raven can be very subtle, however, especially if the two are not standing side by side. There are other physical features to note:
- The bill of a Common Raven is larger and heavier, and has a less obvious downward curve—the raven’s upper bill does curve downward at the end but is more parallel for most of its length.
- A raven’s throat feathers look shaggy and fluffed out, a feature best seen from the side, in a perched bird.
- The tail feathers of a raven form a wedge shape, while a crow’s tail feathers form a fan, a feature most easily observed when the bird is in flight.
- In flight, the wing of a raven may have a sharper bend than that of a crow, and the primaries, the long feathers at the tip of the wing, are more separate, with space between them.
Behavior Differences Between Common Ravens and American Crows
Because crows are so common, most people have plenty of opportunity to observe them; ravens are more elusive. There are some behavioral differences that can help distinguish the two:
- Ravens don’t flock—they are often solitary but are sometimes seen in pairs. Crows have large family groups and sometimes gather at crow roosts of thousands at dusk.
- Ravens tend to remain in wild undisturbed areas, although they are gradually becoming more common in rural areas.
- During flight, crows typically flap their wings. Ravens are more inclined to soar, and may do somersaults in flight.
Crows that soar … and paraphyly in ravens
by David J. Ringer
NAIROBI, KENYA –
Visible only as specks to the unaided human eye, Pied Crows (Corvus albus), soar hundreds of feet above busy, crowded Nairobi, rarely needing to flap their black, oar-shaped wings. Their distinctive silhouettes, and perhaps flashes of their white breasts, identify them as they mingle on the thermals with Black Kites and Marabou Storks.
A genetic study published in 2005 found that Pied Crows — a common species throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa — are embedded within the Northern (Common) Raven, Corvus corax (Feldman and Omland 2005). Pied Crows were found to be sister to a ‘Holarctic clade’ of ravens (Eurasia and most of North America), while a genetically distinct raven population centered in California was recovered as sister to the Chihuahuan Raven, Corvus cryptoleucus (map of North American populations). This study backs up an earlier one (Omland et al. 2000) that found similar results but had not included the Pied Crow.
If they are merging back together after a period of geographic isolation, then, even though other species have split off from the two populations in the intervening time, they will probably still be considered the same species. Paraphyly happens at the species level (and apparently much more often than we realized) — that’s just how it goes.
Many bird populations migrate long distances along a flyway. The most common pattern involves flying north in the spring to breed in the temperate or Arctic summer and returning in the fall to wintering grounds in warmer regions to the south.
The primary advantage of migration is conservation of energy. The longer days of the northern summer provide greater opportunities for breeding birds to feed their young. The extended daylight hours allow diurnal birds to produce larger clutches than those of related non-migratory species that remain in the tropics year round. As the days shorten in autumn, the birds return to warmer regions where the available food supply varies little with the season.
Bird migration pattern