Bird word: hackles

Hackles: long, prominent feathers on the throat or neck, as in ravens and crows.

In the Australian Raven, our largest species of corvids, the throat feathers, or hackles, are quite prominent. In fact, this can be very helpful when identifying this species. I do not yet have a photo of an Australian Raven. In the Little Raven, the common species in our district, the throat hackles are far less obvious, as you can see in the photo below.

Little Raven

Little Raven


5 Responses to “Bird word: hackles”

  1. Snail says:

    I must have a closer look at the ravens that sit on the wires outside my house and call to each other about ten minutes before my alarm goes off. I’m not sure whether they’re little or Australian ravens but I should be able to tell with this bit of info about the hackles. They raise my hackles, I can tell you. The noisy so and sos.

  2. Trevor says:

    You are lucky to have such a reliable first line alarm bird. Try being woken suddenly by loud beak pecking on your bedroom window when said raven is attacking its reflection. Not a pleasant way to awake.

    They are most likely to be Little Ravens in your area but don’t quote me on that as I am no expert in the birds of Victoria where you live. And don’t discount Forest Ravens; the first time I recognised that species was near Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula. The calls of each species are worth memorising as they are quite distinctive and diagnostic (see the Pizzey field guide which gives a very good phonetic representation of the calls).

  3. Snail says:

    I’ll pay more attention to their calls. But if any of the birds says “Nevermore!”, I’m out of there.

  4. Trevor says:

    For those readers who are wondering what Snail is on about read this:

  5. Bill says:

    Hello to all, i am willing to answer about any questions on Australian Ravens as i consider them a prized bird. As i am always looking into my beloved birds and also the legal keeper of a raven in NSW. So i know my ravens well.

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