Ravens are incredibly intelligent. They are one of the few species of animals, that have the flexibility and logic to plan ahead and prepare for the future. A trait that was previously thought to be characteristic only to humans and some great apes. Not only are they able to solve complex tasks, but some have even been observed to study and examine problems, before attempting to solve them. This way they can prepare and perform complicated procedures without the need for any trial and error. They are known to be very creative, sometimes using tools or even other animals to achieve their goals. They can mimic other noises in a manner similar to parrots and in the wild would imitate wolves or foxes, leading them to carcasses that they have trouble breaking open themselves.
Adult ravens usually form pairs for life, but until they find their mate adolescent birds live together in groups, helping each other in the search for food. In these groups they form friendships and will remember certain birds even years later. Similarly, if the other birds notice that someone is eating more than his fair share, they will shun him and refuse to cooperate in the future. Ravens are also the only species, apart from primates, to use gestures. They use their beak to point at objects, that they wish to show to another bird and would sometimes even hold up the object to get their attention.
Ravens and crows do look quite similar, but there are several important differences. Most noticeably, ravens are a lot bigger. A common crow is a bit larger than a pigeon, while a raven is closer to a hawk. Ravens are usually seen alone or in a pair, while their smaller cousins, the crows, almost always flock together. When flying their tail is shaped like a fan, while a ravens’ is more like a wedge. And a ravens’ calls is croaky and much deeper. A group of crows is called a murder, while a group of ravens is known as an unkindness or a conspiracy.