Are Ravens good pets?
Is it even legal to keep them? (USA & UK)

Ravens might be glossy and mysterious, but are they worth the work and hassle? Before owning a raven as a pet, you might want to find out more.

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Iñigo Navarro

July 11, 2021


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What’s This Post About?

Ravens have a mixed image, with several enjoying their gothic and pagan connections and others fearing them due to scary fiction and movies depicting them as terrible omens and menacing birds.

It depends on you and how you see the bird. Ask yourself if you see its unconventional beauty or do you consider it bad luck.

Several people get fascinated by this intelligent, beautiful blackbird and like the mystery that it brings along with it. They wish to keep it as a pet but are largely unaware of the multiple problems they should consider before coming to this decision. As much as you love the bird, you cannot fight its instincts and behavior.

Ravens are not good pets. These wild birds can get aggressive, noisy, and needy. Their territorial and curious nature can pose potential dangers creating a lot of mess. If you still decide to keep it, remember that you need a permit to own a raven.

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What are some possible issues to consider about Ravens?    

Although you may be a bird enthusiast, adopting a bird is not the same as watching it. It may appear to be a simple bird in the wild, but capturing it at home is entirely another story. They are wild birds that can get noisy, aggressive, and messy. They need care, company, and space.

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Take these factors into account before going on your quest to become the gorgeous and quirky raven master.

1. They Are Wild Birds

Ravens are aerial acrobats. They ride updrafts, fly backward, and even do backflips for the sheer joy of it. Juvenile ravens have been spotted tossing twigs while airborne and then diving in to collect it before it reaches the bottom turning it into a delightful game of catch.

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The first question that needs to be addressed is how fair it would be to deprive the birds of their natural behavior. Captivating them would limit their mobility and result in suppressing a lot of their skills. Ravens are wild birds that belong out in the open with their families.

 You have to consider this before you expect that the little bird will sit in the cage all day and play with you. They would go insane in a matter of weeks or months if they couldn’t fly, travel, and put their skills to the test.

2. They Have a Nasty Bite

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Ravens are omnivorous, which means they consume both fruits and meat in equal amounts. As a result, their beaks are designed to nibble through the fruit peel and tear flesh away.

Ravens, in most cases, have no business attacking humans. However, when provoked, they may become highly violent, and a warning nip in the finger is very likely if you’re not careful. A raven’s bite can be excruciating.

did you know?

A raven’s bite is so nasty that it can even crush a bone on impact.

When a raven bites you, prying their beaks open and fleeing is not tricky, but it is also not recommended. If they bite softly, you can generally drawback your finger, but the best approach is to wait it out and let the raven release you on its own. They will let you leave if they observe that you wish to go.

Keep a safe distance from raven nests since ravens are more violent around their nests. They are highly protective of their young, and they go on high alert if they see anyone approaching their territory. When interacting with ravens and their beaks, exercise caution.

PRO-TIP

When managing your pet raven, use protective clothing as much as practical, mainly if you are still unfamiliar with them.

3. They Can Be Noisy

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Understandably a person looking to make raven a pet is not seeking melodious sounds. However, you must realize how noisy your house can get. Before you start to become your neighborhood’s raven keeper, bear in mind that ravens have a habit of calling and shouting to one other across vast distances.

This can get inconvenient for two reasons.

The sound of a raven calling for another bird can be heard for kilometers, so naturally, the calls themselves will not be subtle. They will be shrill and high-pitched, making you eventually beg for earplugs. Secondly, you will have to listen to your pet raven and other ravens that these calls will lure.

Even if you somehow outweigh the cons with the pros of keeping a raven, you might become very disliked within the community. These calls will not just disturb you but also your neighborhood, and not everyone has signed up for a noisy pet.

4. They Need Company

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A raven’s existence revolves around social engagement. They have a position in their social hierarchy since they are a member of a group. The majority of ravens live as couples and fly together for lengthy periods. They also like to associate with other ravens of the same age when they reach a particular age.

Ravens, as highly sociable species, are unsatisfied with a solitary existence. Domesticating a raven and taking it away from its family to live alone might harm its health. Likely, ravens raised in captivity may never encounter these naturally present phenomena of social behavior.

A raven’s instincts of protectiveness and the desire to mate remain essential elements of their life. This indicates that if you desire a raven of your own, you should buy pet ravens (many) rather than make a single raven suffer through loneliness.

WARNING!

Before you take this as a solution, consider other considerations and how they will also multiply with acquiring several of these birds.

5. They Need Space

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Ravens are inherently territorial when it comes to living space. They despise having to share their home with others, human or animal. When they sense ‘trespassers’, they turn aggressive and attack with their dangerous bites. Ravens, like other aggressive birds, like flying great distances to inspect their ‘territory’.

Even though they appear to be laid-back birds, you cannot treat them the same way you would a cat or a dog.

These majestic creatures require vast expanses to soar over, in addition to their inherent territorial difficulties. You can’t make a regular cage or buy a regular little birdcage from your neighborhood pet store.  A tiny cell will not provide sufficient area for them to spread out and extend their wings.

If you want to maintain a pet raven, you’ll need a lot of room to prevent your raven from feeling trapped.

Not only will the bird feel suffocated, but it will get monotonous for them if you manage to shut them up in a cage. You must also be willing to accommodate their territorial instincts and to keep away from their area if you are unwelcome.

6. They Can Get Messy

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When you have a raven as a pet, things can get a little out of hand. As previously said, ravens are very clever creatures, and their intellect frequently fosters an endless sense of curiosity. Pet ravens on the free are prone to sniffing around, whether within their owner’s home or in the garbage.

The outcome of a crow rummaging about is frequently a giant mess. As long as their interest is stimulated and their desire is unfulfilled, they will topple containers and glasses at any height. Once they’ve decided on a favorite item, they’ll do all they can to keep it hidden from watching eyes.

DID YOU KNOW?

Ravens are quickly drawn to specific objects such as keys and jewels.

If you don’t like cleaning, they might not be the ideal choice for you. Prepare yourself to be on your toes to track the movement and activity of your bird. Neither do you want the bird to hurt itself, nor do you want it to turn your house upside down.

What are the good things about keeping a raven?

1. Dietary Requirements

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Ravens are omnivorous and opportunistic eaters, and their food intake changes depending on where they live, the season, and what they come upon by luck. They are highly adaptable and non-picky since they can consume both meat and plants.

You don’t have to stress about unique dietary content as you do with the other bird species since you can easily make sure they get a well-balanced diet. They’ll eat almost everything you put in front of them, including meat, veggies, fruit, grains, and nuts.

PRO-TIP

Give them food that is as close as possible to what they would find in their natural habitat.

Just because they are not picky does not mean you can feed them anything or they do not have a preference. Do not try to provide your raven high-quality dog food as many people attempt to.

Crows and ravens enjoy food presented in the same manner as they would in the wild. A newly slaughtered animal is ideal because it can naturally break down the meal, which satisfies them.

2. Speech

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Another fascinating truth about ravens is that they can imitate noises and phrases. While their language isn’t as extensive as parrots, it’s still a remarkable quality that makes many people desire one as a pet. Additional noises that they imitate include automobile engines, flushing toilets, and animal and bird cries.

Teaching a raven a word to communicate with them is a great way to establish a relationship. What’s impressive is that their high intellect allows them to go much further. If you train them for words associated with specific food kinds, they may even learn to call for that food whenever they want it.

DID YOU KNOW?

Ravens have been observed to impersonate wolves or foxes to entice them to corpses that they can't open. The raven collects the leftovers after the wolf has finished feasting.

3. Intelligence

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A Raven is considered to be one of the cleverest birds in the world. Ravens are known to make complex tactical judgments in the wild to keep other predators and outsiders out of their territory.

DID YOU KNOW?

Numerous tests on them revealed that their IQ is comparable to that of a 7-year-old child.

You may be wondering how their intelligence serves as an advantage to a potential owner. If they are raised in captivity, they can recognize facial features. They can quickly identify their caregivers. If you form a love relationship with ravens, they will become wonderful companions.

You must realize this quality can also work against homeowners or their family members. Ravens are fast to recall and might even carry a grudge if negative stimuli are connected with a particular face. So any member that the raven starts to dislike will be flagged in their memory as invaders.

4. Self-grooming and Bathing

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You may have to clean the mess a raven creates around the house, but surprisingly a raven will clean and wash. They don’t do it as a juvenile, but you should put out a container vast enough for them as soon as they get old enough. Make sure that the water is not too deep for the bird.

PRO-TIP

You will know that the bird is ready to bathe itself as soon as it has strength in its leg and can move independently.

5. Lifespan

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When you keep a pet, you do want it to stick around for a while. A raven’s long lifespan makes it favorable for people that get attached to pets and get invested in the process.

Ravens are known to live to be quite old. They can live up to 10-15 years in their native environment. However, they can survive up to 30 years in captivity, given adequate care and attention.

Another Way to Adopt a Raven

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After considering the pros and cons of having a raven, if you still decide that it’s a good pet, there is an ideal way to adopt a raven. You already know that keeping a pet will not just affect you but also the community in terms of the noise it makes.

Here are some suggestions for keeping a raven as a pet legally and with the most community support:

  1. Train a raven to serve as a service animal. Ravens will be used as service birds for troops suffering from psychological distress.

  2. Take care of a raven that has been injured. This way, you will fulfill your desire to keep a raven as a pet while also helping the animal. You can set it free once it recovers, and it can return to the wild where it belongs.

  3. Adopt a raven from a local zoo or animal rescue. Many people abandon a raven after it proves to be too much trouble. Instead of caging a wild bird, adopting one from the wildlife center is more advised.

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The Migrating Bird Act of 1918 protects migratory birds like crows and ravens.

 No one can rob a raven’s nest of its babies to nurture and sell them as exotic pets under this legislation. To own one, you must have government permission, which is extremely difficult to get unless it’s a rehabilitation facility or serves an educational purpose.

WARNING!

If the federal government discovers that you own a raven without permission, you will be punished, and the raven will be taken away.

Luckily for raven enthusiasts, both American migratory bird regulations have legal loopholes. The Migratory Bird Act of 1916 in the United States only prohibits Americans from possessing the bird if it is native to the country. 

However, it is not illegal to own ravens of species that aren’t native to North America and don’t migrate here. It is, therefore, legal to own a White-necked Raven, which is native to Africa.

The 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act offers complete legal protection to ravens (as amended). The Act gives universal protection to ravens, making it unlawful to kill one. It also allows for the issuance of licenses to regulate them – but only under tight circumstances.

Ravens can be owned. However, they must only be captive-bred and have A10 documents.

How to attract a raven?

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The US government prohibits individuals from keeping them as pets. So the next best alternative is to welcome the wild ones into your yard. If you’re captivated by their beauty and intelligence and want to lure them to your yard, you can do the following things.

  1. Feed them daily at the same time. You can feed them early in the morning or late at night, which are their preferred timings.

  2. Remove any animals or other pets that may scare the ravens away.

  3. Remove anything that makes a lot of noise, like sprinklers.

  4. Plant multiple trees. Ravens enjoy sitting in trees and frequently fly back to collect the feed that has been placed there.

  5. Ravens are drawn to shiny items. It would be best if you scattered them about the yard so that they reflect the light and catch their interest as they pass by.

  6. Place a faux raven to lure real ones. Ravens prefer to live-in couples and like to be in the presence of their kind. They will soon notice if you hang or install a few imitation ravens in your yard.

  7. Put out treats for the birds. These include food like eggs, almonds, and unsalted peanuts.

Keep Reading!

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Ravens are intriguing birds, but they do not make wonderful pets because of their wild nature and behaviors that pose several problems. These birds are not domesticated species and should be treated as such unless in exceptional circumstances where they require human assistance.

As a result, you should only adopt ravens as pets if they require your assistance and if you have the resources to nurture them. If you cannot do so, try observing them from a distance or serving at a bird refuge.

Now that you know more about ravens, here’s an interesting post you can read about keeping blue jays as pets. 

Can You Keep Blue Jay as A Pet? It’s Illegal in the US!

They’re more than just their beautiful plumage and less-than-pleasing sounds. They will add a beautiful vibrant pop of color to your backyard!

Iñigo Navarro Picture

By Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Iñigo Navarro Picture

Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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