Ravens on La Palma

Raven on my car at the observatory, Garafía.
Carmelo the raven on my car at the observatory, Garafía.

Common Ravens live all over Europe, Asia and North America, but we have a different sub-species here. Some biologists group our raven in with the North African sub-species (Corvus corax tingitanus) and others think the Canaries have their own sub-species (Corvus corax canariensis).

Like other members of the rook-and-crow family, they’ll eat whatever’s available: carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, and food waste. And they’re pretty intelligent about getting it. At least two individual ravens at the Roque have learned to provide a photo opportunity in exchange for some food.

Raven outside the Galileo telescopey, Garafía.
Carmelo outside the Galileo telescope, Garafía.

Carmelo hangs around the car park at the Roque itself, although I’ve met him at the Galileo telescope and  observatory heliport.  He’s got a ring around one ankle.  The other raven doesn’t have an ankle ring, and I mostly see him near the Los Andennes viewpoint, and I call him Nevermore, after the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. (“Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’ “)

Raven at Los Andennes viewpoint, Garafía.
Nevermore, the raven (Corvus corax canariensis) at Los Andennes viewpoint, Garafía.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.