Raven


A raven is a large bird from one of several species of the genus Corvus. These species do not form a single taxonomic group within the genus. Species called "raven" are distinguished from "crows" merely by their larger size.

A raven in flight

The largest raven species are the common raven and the thick-billed raven.

Etymology


The term "raven" originally referred to the common raven (Corvus corax), the type species of the genus Corvus, which has a larger distribution than any other species of Corvus, ranging over much of the Northern Hemisphere.

The modern English word raven has cognates in all other Germanic languages, including Old Norse (and subsequently modern Icelandic) hrafn[1] and Old High German (h)raban,[2] all of which descend from Proto-Germanic *hrabanaz.[3]

Collective nouns for a group of ravens (or at least the common raven) include "rave",[4] "treachery",[5] "unkindness"[6] and "conspiracy".[7] In practice, most people use the more generic "flock".[8]

Current species


Extinct species


See also


References


  1. Oxford English Dictionary entry for "raven".
  2. Simpson, J.; Weiner, E., eds. (1989). "Raven". Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-861186-2.
  3. "Raven". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
  4. Lipton, James (1991). An Exaltation of Larks. Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-30044-0.
  5. "Baltimore Bird Club. Group Name for Birds: A Partial List". Retrieved 3 June 2007.
  6. "Baltimore Bird Club. Group Name for Birds: A Partial List". Retrieved 3 June 2007.
  7. "University of California Golf Club. List of Collective Nouns". Archived from the original on 18 September 2004. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  8. "Google Ngram Viewer". books.google.com. Retrieved 5 January 2020.