Description Long associated with mythos and lore, ravens are often viewed as bad omens and associated with death. In reality, the birds are actually quite helpful as eaters of carrion. At the same time, they can be harmful to farmers because they also consume crops. Ravens can be found just about everywhere in the United States. Appearance Closely related to crows and magpies, ravens are large, black birds with distinct wedge-shaped tails and shaggy throat feathers called hackles. Adult ravens can grow up to 2 feet long and weigh as much as 4 pounds. The bird has a thick, black bill and a wingspan that extends nearly 5 feet. Ravens make distinguishing deep and throaty croaks, as opposed to the cawing sound of the American crow. Habitat Found throughout the world, ravens prefer to congregate in open landscapes. The bird particularly enjoys seacoasts, plains, deserts, and the treeless tundra of the far north. Since they are an adaptable and hearty species, ravens also live in heavily wooded areas. Unlike crows, who prefer urban areas, ravens fair better in wilder habitats and construct nests on cliff sides and in tall trees. Despite their preferences, ravens can establish nests in cities and suburbs, as well. Entry Are ravens known to enter homes or yards? Ravens will enter yards when searching for new sources of food. Farmers frequently encounter the bird, as it preys on newborn lambs and steals eggs when the opportunity arises. Given their diet of carrion, raven presence often indicates that hurt or dead animals are nearby. Open garbage containers can also draw the raven in to populated areas. Damage Do ravens harm people or property? Since they prey on grains and livestock, ravens do the most significant damage to farmlands and farmers. Flocks of ravens devastate crop yields by picking through fields of nuts and cereal grains. Additionally, they attack young livestock like lambs and calves. Their feeding activities result in costly losses. Control and Safety In order to keep ravens from entering areas of human population and causing damage, employing different methods of exclusion and habitat modification can be helpful. Keep trash can lids secured tightly and promptly contact city officials to remove roadkill and other carrion. In addition, use bird netting and other protective measures to keep ravens away from crops. Trapping and Removal Ravens are highly intelligent and untrained individuals should never attempt to deal with infestations alone. Instead, contact trained wildlife removal specialists to deal with populations. Wildlife technicians from Critter Control have the knowledge and tools needed to successfully and humanely trap and remove problematic ravens.