To celebrate World Book and Copyright Day, we have a fun fact for you: did you know Crows and Ravens are featured in the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit?
In the book, these Corvid birds have the ability to speak to the hobbits and the dwarves and aide them on their quest.
"I only wish he was a Raven," said Ballin. "I thought you did not like them? You seemed very shy of them when you came this way before," said Bilbo. "Those were Crows, and nasty suspicious looking creatures at that. But the Ravens are different. There used to be great friendship between them and the people of Thrór. And they often brought us bright and secret news and were often rewarded bright things as they coveted to hide in their dwellings." said Ballin. (Tolkien, 1937)
Locally here in the US, we most often encounter the American Crow and the Common Raven. In real life, it can be tricky to tell the difference between Crows and Ravens. BirdNote devoted an episode all about how to distinguish between these birds. Click below to listen to the podcast.
For more information about Crows and Ravens, be sure to check out their entries in the Audubon Field Guide below.