Both ravens and crows are black, except for the rare white ravens. Also, both these birds belong to the same family. But are they the same?
Crows and ravens are not the same. The primary characteristics that distinguish these birds are their size and weight. For example, a common raven is about 60-68 centimeters long and weighs 1.2 kilograms, whereas an American crow can grow to be 40 to 50 centimeters long and weigh 300 to 600 gm.
Even the Carrion crow, found in Europe and the eastern Palearctic, is larger than the common American crow. They are, however, smaller than ravens.
So, in this article, we’ll find out if ravens and crows have anything in common. Then, we’ll concentrate on the characteristics that set these two city birds apart.
What are ravens?
Ravens are larger-bodied birds in the Corvidae family and Corvus genus. The common raven and the thick-billed raven are the two biggest raven species. Also, ravens are the largest of all corvids.
A few current species of ravens include the following.
- Common raven
- Australian raven
- White-necked raven
- Thick-billed raven
- Chihuahua raven
- Fan-tailed raven
- Little raven
- Forest raven
- Brown-necked raven
Are ravens and crows related?
Crows and ravens are related but not the same bird. These birds are members of the same genus- Corvus, and family- Corvidae. They are, however, members of different species.
Are ravens bigger than crows?
Ravens are typically larger, heavier, and stronger than crows.
Here are the measurements of different ravens and crows for your reference.
|Common raven||Size: 63 cm or 24-27 inches |
Weight: 1.2- 1.5 kgs
|American crow||Size: 40-50 cm or 16-20 inches |
Weight: 300-600 gm
|Carrion crow||Size: 45 and 47cm or 17.7 to 18.5 inches|
Weight: 370 and 650 gm
How to identify a raven from a crow?
Is that black bird in the sky a raven or a crow? How do you tell a raven from a crow? We will tell you how.
Here are some key characteristics of ravens that distinguish them from crows simply by looking at them and carefully listening to them.
Ravens are larger, one of the first characteristics distinguishing them from crows. Ravens can reach lengths of 24 to 27 inches from head to tail and a wingspan of 3.5 to 4 inches. Ravens weigh approximately 1.2 kg due to their larger size.
So, look at the size of the bird to determine whether it is a raven or a crow.
The appearance of the bird in question is the next thing to look for. Ravens are mostly black with no markings, though there are a few white ravens. Another thing to notice is the raven’s tail. Crows have wedge-shaped feathers in their tails, whereas ravens have almost always had more curved feathers.
Not only are ravens larger than crows, but their feathers are also darker and glossier. They have extremely polished feathers with iridescent purple, blue, and green tones. In addition, the feathers occasionally have an oily sheen that makes them look even more vibrant.
If you see a black bird alone or in pairs and look like a bigger crow, you should know that it is a raven. Contrary to crows, which typically fly in groups, ravens are less social. Also, whereas ravens (mostly) prefer to stay in forests and other wild areas, crows are more frequently seen in open spaces and urban areas.
Additionally, unlike crows, ravens can articulate their long throat feathers for a variety of displays!
The vocalization of ravens is a little hoarser than that of crows. The sound that ravens make is referred to as “croaking” Comparatively speaking, the croaking sound is much throatier and more profound than the crow’s cowing sound.
Ravens and crows difference
Here is a list of various parameters or features that will help you spot the difference between ravens and crows easily.
|Size (average)||60-68 centimeters||40 to 50 centimeters|
|Weight (average)||1.2 kg||300-400 gm|
|Feathers||Shiny and sheen||Mat finish with lightly marked (in some cases)|
|Wings in sun||Metallic with a blue or purple hue||Purple with green tints|
|Voice||Croak and scream||Caw and purr|
|Social behavior||Not very social||Social and always found in groups|
|Habitat||Wild as well as urban settings||Mostly urban settings|
|Tail||Wedge like||Rounded fan-like shape|
|Beak||Bigger and curvier||Almost straight|
|Diet||Carrion, sheep, small invertebrates, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles||Garbage, eggs, mice, earthworms, nuts, fruits, seeds, etc.|
|Intelligence||Playful and shrewd|
Can perform well on intelligence tests, Pre-plan tasks
Trade for food
|Intelligent sharp Intelligence of a 7-10-year-old child|
Speculate on human faces
|Lifespan (average)||8 years||30 years|
Ravens and crows’ intelligence
Bird intelligence is still being researched. And ravens and crows are thought to be among the most intelligent birds.
The following table will explore the features that reveal the intelligence of ravens and crows.
|Smartest||Can solve intelligence tests as good as ravens|
|Have the ability to deal with difficult problems||Can remember human faces|
|Can pre-plan tasks, especially gathering food||They can sense different people differently|
|Can establish associations between tools and tasks if trained||They can understand human is a threat|
|By the age of four months, they have fully developed cognitive abilities.||Warier of new people|
|Great memory||They have the problem-solving abilities of a seven-year-old child.|
|They can use tools and solve puzzles if trained||They can communicate about humans to other crows.|
Are ravens louder than crows?
Raven vocalization is profound and much less piercing than a crow’s voice. Ravens make various calls, ranging from a low, gurgling croak to rough jarring sounds.
Experts have classified raven vocalizations into 33 distinct types based on sound and situation. Raven commonly heard voices, including gurgling croaks, shrill calls, rasping calls, and so on.
Are ravens faster than crows?
Ravens are expert aerobatic flyers who appear to enjoy being in the air. But do they outrun crows in speed? Let us find out.
Ravens cannot outrun crows in flight. Crows, particularly the American crow, can fly at speeds ranging from 30 to 60 miles per hour and up to 70 miles per hour when diving. On the other hand, Ravens can fly at a typical speed of 25 miles per hour, making them slower than crows.
Do ravens and crows get along with each other?
Crows and ravens are hostile to one another. They share a territory, but they don’t like to be in close quarters with one another very often. Fights that occur after close encounters are typically started by crows.
Crows are notorious for attacking ravens with greater aplomb. They both compete for the same food sources and nesting locations. As a result, it’s common to see them battling for space and resources. In other words, we could say that crows and ravens are natural enemies.
To conclude, despite sharing the same genus and family, ravens and crows are not the same. Compared to crows, ravens are larger, have shinier plumage, and have a deep voice. A careful look at the bird will bring out its distinctive features easily.