Difference Between Crow and Raven

Crows and ravens, mistaken for one another, have distinct characteristics that set them apart. While both belong to the corvid family and share similar appearances, crows are smaller and have a more slender build. Ravens, on the other hand, tend to be larger with a robust physique and wedge-shaped tails.

One notable difference lies in their calls; crows caw, producing a harsh sound, while ravens emit a deeper, croaking sound. the two birds differ in habitat preferences, with crows thriving in diverse environments, including urban areas, while ravens are associated with remote wilderness settings. Despite their similarities, these birds showcase unique traits that make them fascinating members of the avian world.

Crow vs Raven

Comparison Chart

Parameter of ComparisonCrowRaven
SizeSmaller (17 inches long, 2.5 ft wingspan, 20 oz weight)Larger (24-27 inches long, 3.5-4 ft wingspan, 40 oz weight)
AppearanceSleek, black feathers with a fan-shaped tailHeavier, shaggier black feathers with a wedge-shaped tail. May have rough throat feathers.
BeakShorter, straighter beakLarger, more curved and powerful beak
HabitatMore adaptable, found in urban, suburban, and rural areasPrefers wilder habitats like mountains, forests, and cliffs
DietOmnivorous, eats a wider variety of food including insects, fruits, seeds, carrion, and small animalsOmnivorous, but may focus more on larger prey like rodents, fish, and carrion
IntelligenceHighly intelligent, known for problem-solving abilities and tool useExtremely intelligent, considered one of the smartest birds. Mimics sounds and can solve complex puzzles
Social BehaviorHighly social, live in flocks that can number in the hundredsLess social, live in pairs or small family groups
VoiceHarsh “caw” call, can also make other soundsDeep, croaking “caw” or guttural calls. Known for mimicking sounds
FlightFlaps wings more frequentlySoars more due to larger size, uses thermal currents for long-distance travel

What is Crow?

The crow is a black bird that is found worldwide. It is also a symbol of doom and ill omen. In addition, crows are noisy and gregarious birds. They are known to be mean and can cause serious damage to crop and property. In contrast to the raven, the crow has a short bill with no tuft of hair atop the bill. It also has large eyes that are yellow with a black pupil.

 In addition, crows are smaller with a length of 27-35 cm and a weight of 1-1.5 kg. Their plumage has dark feathers with a white belly, crown, wings, and tail tips. The bill is yellowish orange with a hooked tip and they have prominent feet with two toes pointing forward and one backward.

On the other hand, the crow is associated with death because it belongs to the avian order of corvids. Many people consider crows to be pests since they damage crops and carry diseases. Some have even killed crows with poison to ensure their food does not become contaminated.

Physical Characteristics

Plumage and Size

Crows exhibit glossy black feathers that can sometimes display subtle shades of blue or purple in certain lighting conditions. They are medium to large-sized birds, with a wingspan ranging from 32 to 40 inches (81 to 101 cm) and a length of 16 to 21 inches (41 to 53 cm).

Beak and Feet

One of the crow’s defining features is its strong, slightly curved beak, well-suited for a diverse diet. Their feet are adapted for perching and walking, with three forward-facing toes and one backward-facing toe, facilitating their impressive agility.

Behavior and Intelligence

Problem-Solving Abilities

Crows are renowned for their exceptional problem-solving skills. Research has demonstrated their ability to use tools, recognize themselves in mirrors, and even solve complex puzzles. These cognitive abilities rival those of some primates, showcasing the remarkable intelligence of these birds.

Social Structure

Crows are highly social creatures and form tight-knit family groups. They engage in cooperative activities, such as mobbing predators or working together to find food. Their complex communication system includes a variety of vocalizations, each serving specific purposes within the group.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Omnivorous Diet

Crows are opportunistic omnivores, consuming a wide range of food items. Their diet includes fruits, seeds, insects, small mammals, carrion, and even human food scraps. This adaptability contributes to their success in diverse environments.

Cache and Memory

Crows are known for caching food, hiding it in various locations to consume later. What sets them apart is their remarkable ability to remember the locations of these caches, even when faced with a multitude of hiding spots.

What is Crow

Cultural Significance

Folklore and Symbolism

Throughout history and across cultures, crows have been featured prominently in folklore and mythology. Often associated with mystery and intelligence, these birds have been both revered and feared. In some cultures, crows are seen as messengers or symbols of transformation.

Urban Adaptation

Crows have successfully adapted to urban environments, capitalizing on the opportunities presented by human habitation. Their ability to thrive in cities has led to increased interactions with humans, sparking a mix of admiration and frustration.

Conservation Status

While crows are not considered threatened, some specific species face localized challenges due to habitat loss and human interference. Conservation efforts focus on preserving their natural habitats and educating the public about the importance of coexisting with these intelligent avian neighbors.

What is Raven?

The black bird of bad luck is the raven, and it is found in North America. In mythology, the raven is a smart bird that speaks and flies. However, it is also a harbinger of death and destruction. Based on their size, ravens have bigger head and tail measurements of 24 to 27 inches and wingspans of 3.5 to 4 inches.

When people find something, they did not know they had, they will attribute that item with good luck. Therefore, the raven is good luck because of its black feathers and blood-red eyes. It is also used in religious ceremonies such as weddings where it signifies death and rebirth.

Ravens are easy to recognize. These feathered fighters always know how much dramatic flair they need while confronting another bird or larger animal, thus they prefer something more substantial over the smooth, hair-like characteristics that other songbirds rely on.

Physical Characteristics

Ravens are large birds, measuring around 24 to 27 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 3.9 feet. Their jet-black feathers have a glossy appearance, reflecting light in a way that adds to their enigmatic allure. A distinguishing feature is their wedge-shaped tail, setting them apart from their close relatives, crows.

Habitat and Distribution

Ravens are remarkably adaptable, thriving in diverse environments ranging from dense forests and coastal regions to arid deserts. They are found across the Northern Hemisphere, with populations in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Their ability to inhabit a wide range of ecosystems has contributed to their success as a species.

Behavior and Intelligence

Known for their problem-solving skills and cognitive abilities, ravens are considered one of the most intelligent birds. They have been observed using tools, solving puzzles, and even playing games, showcasing a level of cognitive complexity not associated with birds. Ravens are also highly social creatures, forming close-knit family groups.

Cultural Significance

The raven holds a prominent place in various mythologies and folklore worldwide. In Norse mythology, Odin, the Allfather, had two ravens named Huginn and Muninn, symbolizing thought and memory. Native American cultures depict the raven as a trickster figure with transformative powers. the raven plays a significant role in the mythology of several indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

What is Raven


The raven’s call is unmistakable – a deep, guttural croak that carries over long distances. These vocalizations are not only a means of communication but also serve to establish territory and communicate with other members of their group. The complexity and variety of their calls contribute to the mystique surrounding these birds.

Feeding Habits

Ravens are opportunistic feeders with a diverse diet that includes carrion, insects, berries, and small animals. Their scavenging nature has led to their association with death and the afterlife in various cultures. However, they also play a crucial role in ecosystems by helping to clean up carrion, thus preventing the spread of disease.

Conservation Status

While the common raven is not currently considered endangered, certain populations face threats due to habitat loss, poisoning, and human persecution. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensuring the continued existence of these remarkable birds and maintaining the balance they bring to ecosystems.

Difference Between Crow and Raven

  • Physical Appearance:
    • Size: Ravens are larger than crows, with longer wings and tails.
    • Feathers: Ravens have wedge-shaped tails and shaggy throat feathers, while crows have fan-shaped tails and smoother throat feathers.
    • Color: Ravens have a purplish or bluish tint in their glossy black feathers, whereas crows are all black.
  • Vocalizations:
    • Sound: Ravens produce a deep, croaking sound, while crows have a more varied repertoire, including caws, clicks, and coos.
    • Complexity: Raven calls are deeper and more guttural, while crows can mimic a wider range of sounds, including human speech.
  • Social Behavior:
    • Solitary vs. Group: Ravens are seen in pairs or alone, while crows are more social and form larger groups, known as murders.
    • Interaction: Crows are known for their playful behavior and engaging in aerial acrobatics, while ravens are considered more stoic.
  • Habitat and Range:
    • Distribution: Ravens are found in more remote and wilderness areas, while crows are adaptable and can thrive in urban environments.
    • Nesting: Ravens prefer nesting on cliffs or high places, while crows build their nests in trees.
  • Intelligence:
    • Problem Solving: Both ravens and crows are highly intelligent, but ravens are considered more sophisticated in problem-solving tasks.
    • Tool Use: Both species are known to use tools, but ravens have been observed using more complex tools in some instances.
  • Flight Pattern:
    • Flight Style: Ravens have a more soaring and gliding flight pattern, while crows exhibit a more agile and direct flight.
  • Symbolism and Cultural Significance:
    • Mythology: Ravens are associated with mysticism and are considered symbols of wisdom in various cultures. Crows are sometimes seen as symbols of transformation or as messengers.
  • Dietary Habits:
    • Diet: Both ravens and crows are omnivores, but ravens may have a preference for carrion and larger prey, while crows have a more varied diet, including scavenging and foraging.
  • Relationship with Humans:
    • Interactions: Crows are more adaptable to human presence and can be found in urban areas scavenging for food. Ravens may be more wary of human activity.
  • Nesting and Reproduction:
    • Nest Type: Ravens build larger and sturdier nests, on cliffs or high locations. Crows construct more open and bowl-shaped nests in trees.
    • Clutch Size: Ravens have smaller clutch sizes, while crows may have larger groups of eggs.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-015-1935-8
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0056885