Cover image for The raven : a natural history in Britain and Ireland
The raven : a natural history in Britain and Ireland
Ratcliffe, Derek A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : T & A D Poyser, 1997.
Physical Description:
xxii, 326 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL696.P2367 R37 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Well-known throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the Raven has a prominent place in myth, legend, and history. This book presents a thorough summary of the current state of knowledge regarding the Raven's natural history, describing its present distribution, habitat requirements, calls, feeding habits, social behavior, and population centers. The text focuses on the Raven's ecology in the United Kingdom, but is of interest worldwide to both amateurs and professionals. It contains useful comparisons of the Northern Hemisphere species. Brought to life through beautiful detailed illustrations, maps, and tables, this is a valuable study on one of the most spectacular and romantic of British birds.

Key Features:

Provides a rare glimpse into Raven ecology/biology in the U.K.
Features beautiful illustrations, along with useful maps and tables
Emphasizes the long association of the bird with humans
Contains current information on feeding habits, breeding, territorialism, intelligence, and distribution

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgementsp. xix
Introduction: The Raven: spirit of the wildsp. 1
1 The Raven In Human Historyp. 7
Prehistoryp. 8
The Raven in myth and legend 9 From scavenger friend to predator-foep. 16
2 The Raven's Countryp. 27
Cliff coasts of the agricultural districtsp. 30
Lowland farmland in the westp. 32
Foothills and marginal landp. 33
Sheepwalks of the higher hillsp. 34
Grouse-moors of the eastern uplandsp. 35
Deer forests of western and northern Scotlandp. 36
Cliff coasts of the northern and western moorlandsp. 37
3 Distribution And Numbers In Britain And Irelandp. 4o
South-east Englandp. 40
The Channel Islesp. 42
South-west Englandp. 42
East Angliap. 46
Walesp. 47
Midlandsp. 53
Northern Englandp. 55
Southern Scotlandp. 60
Scottish Highlandsp. 64
Scottish Islandsp. 68
Irelandp. 71
Grand totalsp. 74
4 Food And Feeding Habitsp. 75
Studies of foodp. 78
The Raven as a predatorp. 82
Other foodsp. 89
Feeding habitsp. 91
5 Social Behaviourp. 97
Territorialismp. 97
Flocking and communal roostsp. 101
Social behaviour in displayp. 107
6 Raven Movementsp. 118
General movementsp. 118
Daily movementsp. 125
7 Associations With Other Animalsp. 127
Birdsp. 127
Mammalsp. 138
8 Breeding: Nest And Nest Sitep. 139
Nest constructionp. 140
Nest sitesp. 144
9 Breeding: The Egg Stagep. 16o
Prelaying behaviourp. 160
The eggp. 161
Clutch sizep. 165
Layingp. 168
Incubationp. 171
1O Breeding: The Youngp. 174
Nestling growthp. 175
Brood sizep. 182
Breeding performancep. 188
Causes of complete breeding failurep. 189
Egg-collecting and its effects on breeding performancep. 189
Regional variations in productivityp. 191
11 Territoriailism And Population Regulationp. 196
Surplus non-breeding populationsp. 199
Rapid rematingp. 200
The ceiling on numbersp. 202
Territorialism and variations in breeding densityp. 204
Mechanism of territorial spacingp. 208
Limitations of unsuitable nesting habitatp. 210
Mortality, population turnover and capacity for spreadp. 211
12 Ravens In The Modern Scenep. 217
Gamekeeperingp. 218
Afforestationp. 225
Changes in farming practicep. 232
Disturbancep. 236
Pesticidesp. 238
Conclusionsp. 240
13 Ravens Elsewhere In The Worl