In the United States, it is illegal to acquire native species corvids (crows and ravens) as pets. They are wild birds, and the U.S. protects that status. There are ways that you can legally acquire a pet corvid though. Here are a few things you might want to try if these interesting birds have caught your attention.
1. Talk to a bird rehabilitation society. Chances are that there is a group in your area that takes in injured birds and cares for them. Check in the phone book under wildlife sanctuary, bird sanctuary, or raptor shelter. You might also want to check under aviaries. These groups usually accept volunteers. Volunteer on a regular basis, and you will get the chance to both see what is involved in caring for a crow or raven, and get some first hand experience and knowledge without having to do it all on your own. As your knowledge grows, the group may be willing to foster corvids with you. If a bird is not suitable for being released back into the wild, you may be able to keep it as a pet. This is how many people end up with pet ravens and crows.
2. Develop a good repoire with the veterinarians in your area. This is a good strategy to use in conjunction with volunteering for a wildlife group. When people find injured animals, they often bring them to their local veterinarians. Although most veterinarians will try to help the wild animal, their resources and time are limited. If they know of your interest and experience, they very well may be willing to place an injured crow or raven with you! As mentioned above, your emphasis should be on releasing the animal into the wild, but if the animal is weak or permanently injured, then it might be in the best interest to let the corvid stay in your home as your pet.
3. Find a breeder who raises non-native species of corvids. African Pied Crows, Hooded Crows, and White Neck Ravens are the most common non-native species of corvids bred as pets to sell to the American consumer. These animals are not cheap! Expect to pay $900 or up for a hand fed baby. It might be possible to get an older pet for less, but even the old and infirm go for no less than $100. Be careful to only buy from a reputable breeder. You want to make sure your new pet is healthy and has been well cared for.
4. Learn everything you can about corvids! Join email lists, read websites, and exchange email with owners. Talk to people about your passion. Most owners of pet ravens and crows got their pet through word of mouth.
In conclusion, if you are serious in your corvine love, do more than sit at home pining for a pet that is not easily available. Volunteer, talk and share, and most importantly learn everything you can about crows and ravens. If you keep your ears open, you might find someone who can help make your corvine dreams come true.