Do corvids like ravens or crows make good pets? No, migratory birds, in general, are protected by law and shouldn’t be pets. Additionally, corvids make bad pets due to their behavior. Only very experienced bird owners are able to handle these birds if they have a valid permit. Read on to learn more about what it would be like to own a raven or crow.
Crows vs. ravens – the difference
Crows and Ravens belong to the Corvidae bird family. When referring to these intelligent birds in literature and conversation, people often use the terminology interchangeably. However, crows and ravens have differences.
Ravens grow larger than crows, with more distinct markings on their plumage. Raven’s also have thicker and shorter bills and a wedge-shaped tail. One cannot determine the sex of a Corvid since there is no visible difference between males and females. However, most aviaries can only hold one crow or raven at a time.
There are 40 subspecies of crow, such as the Corvus splendens protegatus, Corvus splendens insolens, and the Mesopotamian crow. They all have similar features, and some even come in different colors.
Crows make a lot of noise (which could get on your nerves after 24 hours). A benefit of ravens over crows is that they are more playful and can imitate the calls of other birds such as crows and geese.
Both birds are fearless and don’t shy away from predators. Their intelligence runs deep as each bird passes down knowledge to their kids. Some report that crows use manipulation to get food. So it comes as no surprise that crows and ravens grow bored and can seem like pests for some.
Is it Legal To Own A Pet Raven or a Pet Crow?
No, you cannot own a pet raven or a pet crow, as they are wild animals. Not to mention, it is illegal to keep them as pets in the United States. Anyone who does not hold an authorized wildlife rehabilitator license and a pet raven permit cannot keep a raven or crow in captivity.
Like any pet, a wild animal must be appropriately taken care of and in a way that is approved by the local state laws. Someone without any training would be breaking state and federal laws if caught keeping one as a pet.
Corvids are migratory birds protected under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. Taking bird parts, including feathers, and killing birds without the Secretary of the Interior’s permission is prohibited by the Act.
It is also unlawful to use bait to capture migratory birds or for someone to hunt in an area where they know or should have known there is bait.
Corvids Aren’t Domesticated
Corvids are not domesticated, meaning they cannot survive in captivity without human care. They need to be taken care of daily to live. Crows and ravens cannot be left alone for more than half a day, unlike cats and dogs. Having a pet corvid would take up nearly all your time and energy.
Though it is possible to raise or even hand-feed young corvids, their behavior changes for the worst once they reach sexual maturity (at around two years). This attributes to hormonal changes within the bird’s system. Even properly tamed individuals are affected.
The change renders them very dangerous and nearly impossible to handle any longer. Despite the birds’ intelligence, they do not make good pets. Let’s look further into the various reasons why this is the case.
But there are always exceptions. Watch the video below to see Fable the pet raven who likes to cuddle and talk.
Note, that birds like this are most likely imprinted on humans. They will never be able to live on themselves in the wild again. Nor can they socially interact with their conspecifics.
Behavior And Temperament
Crows especially are loud, aggressive, and destructive. Before long, you will grow tired of the noise they make round the clock. They do not keep quiet, even in the wee hours of the night.
Crows and ravens are known to be aggressive to humans. The problem here is that they are unforgiving. If they recognize an individual as someone who scared them or as some other type of threat, they attack. Worse more, they remember the fault for years to come.
Corvids leave a mess wherever they go. Their droppings are colossal and will leave your area dirty.
They are aggressive Predators
As mentioned before, they can be extremely dangerous to handle after they reach sexual maturity.
Crows and ravens prey on other birds, baby chicks, eggs, insects, frogs, mice, and even rats.
Crows eat almost anything, including garbage and roadkill (like vultures), which can create severe health problems with your pet if you’re not careful with what it eats outdoors. Furthermore, corvids can also carry diseases that may be transferred to your family if the bird is not carefully handled.
they are Difficult To Train
Crows and ravens are notoriously difficult to train. You can’t teach them tricks like dogs and cats. Nor can you house train them either. These don’t operate as ideal companions for children either because of their appearance and unpredictable behavior. Taming a corvid is next to impossible.
Another thing to consider is the sharpness of their beaks and claws that make it harder to have them as a safe family pet.
How Much Does A Pet Raven or Pet Crow Cost?
The cost may vary and depends on the age at which the bird was taken from its mother. Young birds can be adopted for free, but most places will charge a fee for older ones.
You may find Ravens and crows for sale in pet stores, but they do not make good pets and should only be purchased by people who have gone through specialized training on how to handle such birds.
Before you buy one of these animals, you should remember: They cannot be left alone, even for just half a day. When a corvid gets left unsupervised, they could starve or get into harmful objects that can cause injury to them and their owners. It is also illegal to keep wild animals as pets, so please don’t consider taking one in if you don’t have the proper training!
If you are qualified enough to handle and care for a raven, then you probably have access to purchasing one. Depending on its age and origin, a raven may cost anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000. In some cases, that’s more than the price of a baby penguin.
Again, this price varies depending on where you get your bird from and at what age.
How To Attract Ravens or Crows In Your Garden
You can attract migratory birds like crows, ravens, or blue jays to your garden by putting out high-protein food, such as mealworms, sunflower seeds, and scraps of meat.
However, it is not recommended that you feed crows/ravens because they are not meant to be pets. It can cause severe harm to them and put your pets at risk of becoming prey or getting sick. While these birds are delightful to witness from afar, you should try to avoid any interaction.