Ravens are giant, black birds associated with loss and bad things to come. To add to their image, they are known for feeding off carrion, or animal carcasses!
However, a raven diet includes more than just that.
What do ravens eat, then? As wild animals, ravens are omnivores that will eat anything they can get their claws on. This means they will eat carrion, small rodents, eggs, fruit, nuts, seeds, or pet food.
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The common raven is found all over the northern hemisphere, and each one’s diet depends on the particular ravens’ habitat.
There are several well-known characteristics of a raven. They are extremely smart and have been known to use tools to fight and get food. Researchers have also recognized that they are fantastic talkers or imitators of human speech–even better than parrots!
Also, part of raven behavior is that ravens like to collect or cache their food. They will hide their stash from other animals, even other ravens.
These characteristics have led some to describe the raven bird personality type as confident and inquisitive.
Food Ravens Eat
Ravens eat meat, and ravens eat animals, but they are opportunistic scavengers open to almost any meal. Some common parts of their diet include:
- Small rodents
- Amphibians and reptiles
- Small birds
- Bird eggs
- Carrion (animal carcasses)
- Nuts, fruits, and veggies
What is a Raven’s Favorite Food?
It’s hard to pinpoint a raven’s favorite food since they seem excited to eat anything!
However, ravens favor food that is easy to obtain, easy to eat, and packed with nutrients.
This means they favor small things that won’t fight them back, including dry cat or dog food, eggs, corn on the cob, fruit, and vegetables. They enjoy carrion or the leftovers of other predators for the same reasons.
What Do Baby Ravens Eat?
One of the well-known ravens birds facts is that they are monogamous. More than just staying together for life, they also work to raise their offspring together.
Both parents take turns regurgitating their food to feed their chicks in the early stages.
The babies start with small insects before moving on to bits of field mice. At this stage, parents will soften the food with water to make it easier for their babies to eat.
Once the chicks reach five to six weeks of age, they begin eating the same things their parents do.
Where and How Do Ravens Hunt for Food?
Ravens are found everywhere – in grasslands, on beaches, in the desert, and in the tundra. Therefore, you can also spot them hunting nearly everywhere!
What do ravens eat in the wild? Ravens prefer to forage or scavenge for food but are willing to hunt if needed.
Ravens are known to follow other predators, such as wolves, in anticipation of feeding off their leftovers. This is also easier for them since, even though their beaks are relatively sharp, they aren’t quite strong enough to easily rip through the skin.
These intelligent birds also follow farmers and harvesters around, not to pick up their crops but to feed off the insects and worms dug up in the plowing process.
When hunting, ravens typically pair up and only go for easy targets. Ravens eat mice and other small rodents in the grass and target newborn animals. However, if they wanted to, they could catch live adult birds!
Tips to Feed Ravens
Despite their bad and scary reputation, ravens can be friendly to humans.
- Location and Time – Ravens are active during the day and will feed anytime while the sun is out.
If you want to try feeding ravens, a regular bird feeder isn’t going to work. Instead, consider assembling a large platform-style feeder to accommodate its size. The added height will increase ravens’ chances of seeing your food.
However, ravens will just as happily eat off the ground or the crook of a tree.
- Food – Ravens like to eat almost anything but will appreciate high-protein meals that are easy to eat.
Leave them little bits of chopped liver that they can quickly gobble up. They also eat dried cat food, dog food, and suet.
If you don’t have those on hand, berries, nuts, fruit, and seeds can also be food for ravens.
Don’t forget that ravens need to drink water, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
What can’t a raven eat?
Ravens eat bread, ravens eat fish, and ravens eat dead bodies. They eat almost everything except the following, which are poisonous to them.
- Processed food
- Sugary snacks
- Salty food
- Uncooked beans
- All peppers
- Onions and garlic (in large amounts)
- Apple, cherry, and peach seeds
- Moldy or rotted food
Do crows and ravens eat the same things?
Crows and ravens are often confused with each other, but they are very different birds. Their biggest difference is size: crows are comparable to pigeons, while ravens are more similar to hawks.
Crows have what can be considered a more typical bird’s diet of seeds, fruit, nuts, and worms. Ravens are scavengers that eat anything under the sun, from small rodents and birds to carrion to fruit.
Despite their slightly negative associations, ravens appear to be loving, gentle birds doing their best to survive and raise healthy offspring.
What do ravens eat? Anything they can find. These birds will never complain regardless of what’s in front of them. They will happily consume fresh meat, old meat, or even a handful of seeds.
Would you consider attracting them and feeding them in your yard?
George and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.