Raven Bird is our largest passerine, and comparable to the size of a Buzzard, which is noticeable when both species are in the air together. Black all over with a bluish-lilac sheen, Raven Bird has a very deep, heavy bill with a strongly arched culmen and often shows ragged throat feathering. The tail is long and wedge-shaped, and the wings are long and appear rather pointed at times, with a long 'hand' and distinct 'fingers' formed by the long primaries. The neck is fairly long and protrudes noticeably in flight, when the bill is often held open.
Raven Bird is a very widespread species. In our region it is found in Iceland, Ireland, Scandinavia, central and eastern Europe, and the less densely populated regions of western and northern Britain; it also occurs in southern France, Iberia and throughout the Mediterranean. Raven Bird favours a wide range of habitats, but is particularly partial to wild and undisturbed places offering secure or inaccessible nest sites, such as on sea cliffs, in mountainous areas and uplands, sparse woodlands, low intensity farmland (particularly in hilly country) or any other wilderness-type habitats. It has very large territories and will travel long distances when foraging.
Raven Bird is quite vocal, the commonly heard call being distinctly different from other corvids - a deep, gruff, rolling, grunting sound such as "krruuk-krruuk", "krahhk krahhk", "grrahnk" or even "korrp", the latter being the bird's name in Swedish. Raven Bird can give a variety of calls, some sounding more strangled or conversational, as well as a repeated shorter version of the main call, as in "ghok'ghok'ghok" and "krahk'krack'krack". It also gives a honking, higher-pitched "hrrak" or "prahhk". In spring it has a subdued and rather primitive little 'song', comprising various creaking croaks and soft calls.