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Three ravens stand guard on the roof of a houseboat moored on the side of a canal in Amsterdam.

Did you know that there are three different terms for a group of ravens?  In addition to being a “constable,” they can also be a “conspiracy” or an “unkindness.”

The term “constable” is most appropriate when the ravens seem to be guarding something, as in this case.  I’m sure you can think of instances when the other terms would be a better fit.

I find it interesting that ravens, who along with their close cousins the crows have been proven to be the most intelligent of all bird species, have been given such a bum rap.  A group of crows is called a “murder.”  It doesn’t get much worse than that!

The genus Corvus, which includes ravens and crows, is badly in need of an anti-defamation campaign.



  1. Yes, they are very intelligent birds.

    • Hi FSG,

      Have you seen the PBS special about Corvids? Fascinating! And for some reason my cats watch it with great interest. Most bird footage online doesn’t really interest them, but they LOVE the ravens!

      RPRT Photo

  2. I agree they do have a bad rap and I must say that next to the eagle they are my all time favourite birds… Ravens first then crows… they are beautiful and intelligent… but they really should leave the singing to the song birds… 🙂 (have you heard a bald eagle sing? it is absolutely mystical… like bells on the wind – they do not screech despite what we hear on TV)

    • Hi MSH,

      I, too, slightly prefer ravens over crows. And you’re quite right: songbirds they ain’t! Though they have a couple of hundred different vocalizations, which I believe is unmatched among bird species.

      Eagles do have a trippy call. There aren’t any near me, but I’ll be heading back up to Alaska next month and hope to run into a number of them…

      RPRT Photo

  3. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for sharing that interesting article. Like the ravens and crows, I, too, hate unfairness. Seeing others get bigger rewards for less work would (pardon the pun) ruffle most peoples’ feathers.

    Managers take note!

    RPRT Photo

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