Ravens are the largest birds in the crow, or Corvidae, family. Known for their mischievous personalities and love of shiny objects, the raven is a highly intelligent bird that can be noisy, sometimes to an annoying degree. Getting rid of ravens can be difficult, perhaps because these birds are so bright. The birds may be scared away for a period of time by placing plastic owls, plastic snakes or a scarecrow outside. These birds are smart enough to figure out that these types of "solutions" are not harmful and may come back. Other options include installing an ultrasonic crow repellent system or using traps for crows and removing the birds from a property.
The raven has been an object of both admiration and scorn for thousands of years. Noah is said to have cursed the raven after the bird left the ark, never to return with news of land. In ancient Greece, ravens carried messages for Apollo, the sun god. Viking ships honored the god Odin with banners sporting a depiction of a raven. Native Americans considered the raven to be a creator and trickster god. Nothing has really changed. Today, the raven is loved by some and loathed by others.
One of the reasons that people enjoy the raven is because this bird is smart enough to engage in playful behaviors. In addition, ravens can mimic the sounds of the human voice and may be able to be taught to talk when domesticated. On the other hand, a raven is capable of making a great deal of irritating noise. Since ravens eat carrion and look at human trash as a food source, some people consider the bird to be "dirty." Scientists are concerned about ravens eating young desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert in California. Desert tortoises, a threatened species, have few natural defenses against these birds and other predators.
If food and water sources are eliminated, the birds may also disappear. This can be done by bringing pet foods and water inside, keeping trash cans covered and putting trash bags into trash bins with covers. Another method is to consistently make noise whenever the birds are seen in the yard. Putting tin pie pans on a string and hanging the string close to where the birds roost may also help. Varying these different methods, along with rotating in those scarecrows, owls and snakes, will help keep the birds from figuring out that none of these methods will actually harm them.
An ultrasonic crow repellent system, an outside system designed to be used year round, will emit sounds that are irritating to birds but not to human beings. Unfortunately, an ultrasonic crow repellent system may also chase other birds away. Another option is to play recordings of ravens in distress to convince the birds that your yard is dangerous. Bird spikes are designed to be placed in trees where ravens roost. These spikes make it difficult for the birds to sit or stand in that area.