Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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White-necked Raven

Corvus albicollis

The white necked raven lives in hilly or mountainous areas of South and East Africa. It gets its name from the white band around its neck. Like all members of the Corvid family, white-necked ravens are very intelligent and can even mimic human words.

Range & Habitat

White-necked ravens live in Southern and Eastern Africa, nesting in cliffs in non-arid hilly or mountainous areas. They tend to keep their distance from people, preferring foraging in the wild to city scavenging.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

The White-necked raven is a widely distributed species with a fairly large population in its native range.

Diet

In the Wild: As opportunististic foragers, ravens will eat just about anything they come across, from fruits to roots to insects to carrion. They have been seen eating small reptiles and mammals as well.

At the Zoo: Nutrition pellets, meat, rodents, insects, fruits and vegetables.

Life Span

In the Wild: 10 to 15 years
In Human Care: 25 to 50 years

Fun Facts about the White-necked Raven

  •  The White-necked raven is the largest of several African corvid species, growing to about 20 inches tall with a 3-foot wingspan. 
  •  The White-necked raven is sometimes confused with another Corvid species, the African Pied crow, which shares an overlapping range.
  •   White-necked ravens can be taught to imitate words or sounds. See a YouTube video of a white-necked raven named Mischief saying "Hi" and "Hello!" and imitating a cough at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfsnHVaScjg

Sources

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Resource Library, White-necked Raven.  https://resourcelibrary.clemetzoo.com/Animal/1292

Avian Web Beauty of Birds site, White-necked Ravens. https://www.beautyofbirds.com/whiteneckedravens.html

IUCN Red List, White-necked Raven. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22706077/94049525

Updated February 25, 2021
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