There are three species called ravens found in Australia:
- the Australian raven itself, found largely in southern and eastern Australia (divided into western and eastern subspecies)
- the little raven, found predominantly in Victoria and neighbouring parts of NSW and South Australia; apparently this is the species we commonly see in Melbourne
- the forest raven, found predominantly in Tasmania, and heavily forested parts of southern Victoria and northeast New South Wales
Most of these birds average about 50cm in length (the little raven a couple of cm smaller, on average). They are corvids, along with Australian crows (which are different species, despite looking almost identical to Australian ravens, and live more in the northern parts of the country). They also look somewhat similar to currawongs, which are a much more distantly related species, except that currawongs have a white undertail whereas ravens are all black.
The different types of ravens are all omnivorous, with a diet consisting of insects, fruits, nuts and carrion. Farmers often blame ravens for killing lambs and stripping orchards, but research has shown that this is unfounded (although they do eat lambs that they find already dead, and have been known to attack very sickly lambs opportunistically). They nest in pairs, but often form loose colonies of up to 15 pairs.
As the figure Crow, ravens are significant in the mythology of many Aboriginal peoples.