Can You Pet an Australian Raven?
When people think of petting a bird, they usually envision colorful parrots, perched atop perch, eagerly waiting for head scratches and snuggles. Few people, however, consider keeping an Australian Raven as a pet – and even fewer actually attempt to do it. But yes, it is indeed possible to pet an Australian Raven – as long as you’re aware of the nuances and special considerations of doing so.
All About the Australian Raven
The Australian Raven (Corvus tasmanicus) is an all-black medium-sized bird that’s endemic to the country of Australia. It is a cousin of other species such as the Common Raven and is the only entirely black species in the entire region. It stands out due to its unique loud “croaking” vocalizations, which people typically consider a tad unpleasant.
In terms of its diet, the Australian Raven is an omnivore. Out in the wild, they feed on mammals such as rabbits, carrion, insects, snails, and even the occasional dead fish. They also often stay in big groups like most birds of its family and are sometimes known for being a bit “scavenger-like”.
Should You Pet an Australian Raven?
Despite its ability to bond with people, getting an Australian Raven solely for the pleasure of petting it is not recommended. This species of bird is known to be quite wild and is not the kind of bird you would typically keep as a pet. That being said, they can definitely build a relationship with a loving and patient caretaker – however, this should never be done without keeping safety in mind.
Australian Ravens are territorial and inherently wild creatures. They don’t exactly appreciate being cuddled and petted like a cat or a dog would, and as such, it’s important to err on the side of caution when handling them. If you plan on petting one, it’s essential that you’re wearing gloves to maximize safety.
How to Pet an Australian Raven
If you’ve taken the necessary precautions and are prepared to pet your Australian Raven, there are a few different ways to do so. One of the most common methods that experienced caretakers recommend is to take a deep breath, move slowly, and calmly approach the bird without making any loud noises. It’s important to ensure that you maintain eye contact as you gradually extend your gloved hand.
Once the bird has become familiar enough with you, you can then try to pet it by lightly running your fingers down its back and flanks. You should never try to pet the head or face of an Australian Raven, as this can make them uncomfortable or agitated. Instead, it’s better to pet the body and wings – and never with too much force or vigor.
What to Do If an Australian Raven Bites
The Australian Raven’s wild nature can often lead to unexpected behavior and circumstances. If your bird accidentally bites you, try to remain as calm as possible. From here, it’s best to slowly move away from the bird and take a few deep breaths; resist the temptation to throw it away and instead, lower your body and voice to show that you’re not a threat.
If available, you can also use a towel to gently remove the bird from you. Don’t forget to check the bite mark on your skin and apply pressure, should it be necessary. As always, it’s important to seek medical attention if the bite is causing pain or swelling, or if it’s surrounding tissue looks infected.
Although it may sound impossible to pet an Australian Raven, it’s indeed possible with the right method and mindset. Treating these wild birds the same way you would any other pet species is not advised, as they often require a gentler, more patience-based approach. That being said, if you respect the bird’s wild nature and take safety precautions, you can build a genuine connection with it – which can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
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