Difference Between Raven and Crow

Look around in the open, and several birds fly in the sky and sit on tree branches. Although you will find several uncommon and rare birds among them, some of the most common amongst them will be pigeons and crows.


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Many of you often struggle to distinguish between a raven and a crow. Both species, indeed, look somewhat similar to each other. However, there are several differences between the two.

Key Takeaways

  1. Raven is a giant bird with a wedge-shaped tail, shaggy throat feathers, and a croaking call.
  2. Crow is a smaller bird with a fan-shaped tail, smooth throat feathers, and a cawing call.
  3. Raven has a larger and more powerful beak than a crow and is known for its intelligence and problem-solving abilities.

Raven vs Crow

The difference between a Raven and Crow is that crows are more minor and flat, but ravens are bigger and more powerful. Crows can live for a maximum of eight years, whereas ravens can live for 30 years. Crows are found in urban and populated areas, while ravens on the opposite side are not social and mostly live in wilder areas.

Raven vs Crow

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If you ever see a raven and a crow side by side, you will notice quickly that the former is slightly larger than the latter. Typically, a crow is somewhat similar in size to a pigeon.

It has an approximate length of around 17 inches and weighs around 20 ounces. However, when you consider a raven, it will be quite a large size.

The length of a raven varies from around 24 inches to 27 inches, and it also weighs almost double the weight of a crow at around 40 ounces.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonRavenCrow
SizeA raven is comparatively more extensive, ranging from 24 to 27 inches.A crow is comparatively smaller in size, around 17 inches.
WeightIt weighs around 40 ounces.A crow weighs around 20 ounces.
FeathersThe weathers of a raven are pretty shiny with a wet sheen.The feathers of a crow are comparatively less shiny and contain lighter markings.
BillThe bill of a raven is bigger, curved, and more powerful. You will also notice a soft tuft of hair on top of the bill.The bill of a crow is comparatively flatter and smaller in size. The tuft of hair on top of the bill is absent on a crow.
WingsRavens have pointed wings and spread around 46 inches to 54 inches.Crows have splayed and blunt wings spanning around 32 inches to 40 inches.
LifespanRavens have a lifespan of around 30 years.Crows have a lifespan of around 8 years.
HabitatWilder areas.Urban landscape.

What is Raven?

When you talk about a raven, it signifies a larger-sized bird of the genus Corvus. If you have watched several movies on witches and wizardry, you must have noticed that an entire blackbird is often shown, which looks more like a crow.

This bird is the raven. It has a wing span ranging from 46 inches to 54 inches with a bigger and more powerful bill.

Ravens usually have an average lifespan of 30 years and are less social and more cautious by nature.

Raven is a term that most commonly refers to the common raven or Corvus corax. This species of Corvus is most common amongst all other species and is mainly found in the Northern Hemisphere.

The English name “raven” relates to most other Germanic languages.

Most of you may wonder how to distinguish between a raven and a crow if you see one. Looking at a raven with your naked eyes, you will notice that the bird’s feathers have a wet sheen and appear to shine in the sunlight.

Their wings also tend to have a shiny purple or blue tint. The best point of distinction is the way ravens call. Their calls are hoarse and low as compared to a crow.


What is Crow?

Crows are commonly found in urban landscapes and appear much smaller than a raven. These birds also have green with purple-tinted wings, and their feathers are less shiny than a raven.

Crows also have lighter markings on their feathers, which can help you to distinguish a crow from a raven.

Crows are also species of the Corvus class of birds and are often used as a synonym for almost all varieties of Corvus.

There are several types of crows found in different parts of the world, such as Corvus brachyrhynchos or the American crow found in the US, Northern Mexico, and Southern Canada; Corvus albus or the pied crow found in Central African coasts to Southern Africa, and Corvus macrorhynchos levaillantii or the Eastern Jungle Crow found in India and Burma.


Main Differences Between Raven and Crow

  1. Although there are several differences between a raven and a crow, one of the primary points of difference is the shape of their tails. The shape of a raven’s tail is wedge-shaped,, and that of a crow is fan-shaped.
  2. A raven and a crow also differ based on their overall body size. Ravens are much larger, stretching almost 24 inches to 27 inches in length. Comparatively, crows are much smaller, with their body length spanning almost 17 inches.
  3. Apart from their body size, their weights also differ a lot. The average lifespan of a raven is around 30 years, and that of a crow is around eight years.
  4. Ravens are also heavier than a crow weighing an average of 40 ounces, whereas crows normally weigh around 20 ounces.
Difference Between Raven and Crow
  1. https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wilson/v053n02/p0103-p0106.pdf
  2. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/595764
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