How to Attract Ravens: The Complete Guide to befriend a Raven

Crows and ravens (and most birds of the corvid family) are brilliant creatures and make great pets. However, the U.S. government forbids people to own them as pets. So you can do the next best thing: watch wild ones. Most people view such birds as pests, but if you’re like me, you’re impressed by their beauty and cleverness and would like to attract them to your yard. So do you know how to attract Ravens?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll show you how to attract Ravens easily in your yard. We’ll also go over other Raven facts and fun tips.

Let’s jump in!

Best Ways to Attract Ravens

Offer Them Treats

A favorite food that you might have in your house that wil attract ravens are small pellet dog or cat food, eggs, unsalted peanuts and nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and even chicken and other meats. This is by far the most effect technique for how to attract ravens.

Can You Befriend a Raven?

It is possible to befriend a raven. Ravens are known opportunists and will eventually trust a person, even to the point of allowing physical contact. Studies show that ravens can remember not only kindness but people who have done them harm as well.  

You need to think carefully before trying this, however. If you allow any wild animal to get close to you, then you may be putting them in danger from other humans.

An Unkindness of Ravens

If you really want to attract ravens to your garden, try to think about it from the birds’ point of view and see what there is that could scare off ravens. This could be anything that resembles a large animal or person. And if you have a large dog, you shouldn’t expect ravens to feel safe there. 

Photo by Alan Vernon

Ravens Remember

Ravens may love cat food, but this type of food is also particularly appetizing to raccoons. So if you don’t want raccoons visiting your yard, perhaps it’s best to steer clear of the cat food. You can try other foods like food scraps. Ravens are opportunistic omnivores so they will try anything.

They quickly realize that food is on offer at a particular place and will return for the food regularly. All you need to do is find out what they like and then be consistent. Make sure the ravens know they can come to your lawn for food. It’s also a good idea to keep the feeding schedule regular. 

Ravens Love Baths

Ravens are known to enjoy birdbaths. And not just any birdbath, but a bath that is long, dark, and smooth. They enjoy drinking water and bathing. However, they are known to leave their dead prey there if they do not eat it right away, so keep an eye on the bath.

Ravens are Confident Birds

These corvids are famous for their intelligence, but did you know they are notoriously confident as well? Thanks to this confidence, it is easier to earn a raven’s trust than other birds. The main thing is to approach cautiously, so you don’t startle the birds. You want the raven to learn to see you as gentle and as the food provider. Be patient and consistent, and you’ll soon have these confident corvids eating out the palm of your hand. 

Ravens and Crows

Many people will confuse a crow with a raven and vice versa. However, the raven is distinctively larger than the crow. This may not help if they are not side-by-side. Try looking at their bills instead. The raven on the left has a much bigger bill than the crow on the right.

Are Ravens Dangerous?

As we mentioned earlier, the Raven is often associated with dark omens. To dispel some of this dark shroud, let’s take a look at some facts about ravens. 

Like any mother, the raven will be fierce when defending their young. They will usually be successful when trying to defend their young and chasing away potential threats. 

They don’t always wait until they have to defend themselves. Ravens will often go into full attack mode, flying at any perceived threat. The raven will lunge themselves at these potential predators and use their large bills to attack. 

Like most birds, ravens see humans as a threat but will not usually be aggressive unless you are too close to the nest.

Photo by Fernando Losada Rodríguez

Will a Raven Kill a Chicken?

Ravens are opportunistic but prefer their food already dead. They will eat carrion, dead stock in fields and possibly attack a wounded animal or defencless chick. They are unlikely to kill anything the size of a chicken.

Photo by Aconcagua

What are Ravens a Sign Of?

So, why does the raven get such a bad rap? Well, the Raven has a sleek black coat, and its call is not exactly the sing-song melodies of other birds. The Raven has an eerie call, and it is a hunter, often tearing the flesh of its prey apart. In many popular science fiction and supernatural-inspired films, the arven is the psychopomp (a guide of souls to the place of the dead).

Author Note: It is the connection between the spirits and the humans. The Three-eyed Raven was the symbol in the popular Game of Thrones, and they are often associated with prophecy. 

Why Do Ravens Symbolize Fear and Evil? 

Well, we have the Europeans to thank for that. They would identify a raven as being a more benign or evil force in the disguise of a raven. Whether due to its size, dark plumage, or meat-eating tendencies, it’s hard to tell. It’s more likely that it was a combination of all these characters. The French would say that the raven housed the souls of an evil priest. And the wicked nuns would come back as crows.

The Germans believed that ravens were damned souls reincarnated as ravens. The Swedes believed that the eerie croak of a raven during the night was sinister. They believed that it was the calls of murdered people who did receive a proper burial. The Danish also held a fearful view of ravens. They believed that ravens encased an exorcist spirit. It was advised against looking up at them. If a raven had a hole in its wing, and you looked through it, you could turn into a raven yourself. 

In more Eastern cultures, the raven did not have an evil reputation. Even among the Greeks, ravens were more messengers from the Gods. The Celts believed the goddesses of warfare took a raven form during a battle. Odin, the Viking god, was always accompanied by two ravens.

Odin’s ravens were Munin (representing memory) and Hugin (representing thought). They flew all over the world each day, reporting to Odin in the evening. In Tibet, ravens are also considered as messengers between gods and humans. The Chinese blamed the raven for poor weather in forests. They also believed the ravens, and the poor forest weather was preemptive of a god passing by. 

In Native American cultures, the raven was worshipped as a deity who played an essential role in the world’s creation. 

Ravens are One of the Smartest Animals

Photo by pixabay

The raven and other corvids are ranked as smart as dolphins and chimps. There are many tests for intelligence levels for animals, but one logic test stood out. The test was to test logic, and the raven had to use string to get a piece of food. The food was hanging, and the raven had to pull it up a string.

The raven used its claw to anchor it. This action had to be repeated until the food was within reach. Ravens are notoriously clever in the wild. People have reported they have had rocks pushed onto them in trees, their fish stolen, and even trickery.

The raven will also hide its food away if it is aware of the watchful eyes of other ravens. They will try to trick other ravens, pretending to hide their food in one spot while really placing it somewhere else. 

Raven Imitations

As a further testament to their intelligence, ravens are also capable of imitating human speech. When ravens have been in captivity, there are reports that they are even more apt at human speech than parrots. Ravens are also known to mimic toilet flushes, care engines, and even other bird calls.

Author Note: The Raven can also imitate wolves’ calls, even foxes’ noise. This is done as a clever bid to get them to tear open a carcass that they cannot do themselves. 

They sometimes use sticks, rocks, pinecones, or even a golf ball as a toy to play with each other or by themselves. Ravens will often try to taunt other animals, again, just for the playfulness of it all. 


Ravens are extraordinary birds that have gotten a fearsome reputation over the centuries. Whether or not you want to make friends with them, always remember wild birds should remain just that, wild. We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to attract Ravens.

Fly high friends!


Is a raven smarter than a crow?

The jury is still out on this one. Ravens may just have the edge as they are slightly larger and have more of a range in their songs.

What makes a raven so smart?

How long is a piece of string? This is that sort of question. There are theories about the raven being so intelligent as a result of their social nature. Communication is important with social beings and that leads to developing intelligence.

What are threats to ravens?

Ravens are pretty capable of looking after themselves and there are few predators to threaten them in the wild. However, like all birds, their chicks are most vulnerable to attack.

Comments 4
  1. We live with a family of ravens on our property in the Berkshires. We have supplemented
    their food supply in harsh weather and again during nesting periods. The couple have
    had, 2, 2 and 3 off-springs in the 3 years we have been interacting with them.

    When hunting season is on the ravens go where the food is — offal, legs of deer, whatever the hunters leave behind. They may be absent for a week or two and then
    they come back to their nesting zone. We have seen no ill effects from feeding these
    lovely wild creatures.

  2. Just some comments on why many Europeans villify ravens–from a European raven lover.

    Ravens in the wild are mainly carrion eaters. –Hey, so are most of us…Or when was the last time you battled and killed your own dinner?– As such, ravens had food supplies a-plenty on the battle fields of medieval Europe. But when humans saw ravens cleaning up the mess (i.e.the dead) that armies left behind after battles, humans, instead of being grateful to the ravens, as usual only thought of themselves; as in: “Oh shit, that corpse left behind on the battle field, that that raven happens to be eating, could be me!” — consequently associating ravens with harm & death, …even though the harm & death was inflicted by humans (or disease outbreaks), not by those cleaning up after humanity’s messes! …And thus superstitions are born…
    On the flip side, though for similar reasons, ravens are seen as the guardians and carriers of souls in parts of northern Germany.

    Why not let ravens be ravens? They’re just people — who can fly!

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