Difference Between Raven and Crow

Take a look around in the open and you will find several birds flying in the sky and sitting 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.

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

Raven vs Crow

The main difference between Raven and Crow is that crows are smaller and flat in size, 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 the urban and populated areas while ravens on the opposite side are not social, and they mostly live in wilder areas.

Raven vs Crow

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

It has an approximate length of around 17 inches and also 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 Between Raven and Crow

Parameter of ComparisonRavenCrow
SizeA raven is comparatively larger with its length ranging from 24 inches to 27 inches.A crow is comparatively smaller in size with its length being around 17 inches.
WeightIt weighs around 40 ounce.A crow weighs around 20 ounce.
FeathersThe weathers of a raven are quite shiny with a wet sheen.The feathers of a crow are comparatively less shiny and contain lighter markings.
BillThe bill of a raven are bigger and more curved and 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 spreads to around 46 inches to 54 inches.Crows have splayed and blunt wings spanning to 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 an entire blackbird, which looks more like a crow, is often shown.

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 of the other Germanic languages.

Most of you may wonder how to distinguish between a raven and a crow if you see one. Well, if you look at a raven with your naked eyes, you will notice that the feathers of the bird 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 more commonly found in urban landscapes and appear to be much smaller than a raven. These birds also have a green with purple-tinted wings and their feathers are less shiny as compared to a raven.

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

Crows are also a type of 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 a crow, one of the primary point 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 from each other based on their overall body size. Ravens are much larger, stretching to almost 24 inches to 27 inches in length. Comparatively, crows are much smaller, with their body length spanning to 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 8 years.
  4. Ravens are also heavier than a crow weighing at an average of 40 ounces, whereas, crows normally weigh around 20 ounces.


With so much being said about the differences between a raven a crow, you must be aware by now about how to distinguish between the two birds.

At a single glimpse, both of them may appear to be similar. However, the list of points of differences between a raven and a crow is pretty long.

Apart from being larger than a crow, ravens also have a larger and stronger bill. They also outweigh crows in various other categories such as weight, feather quality, and lifespan.

Nonetheless, crows are most commonly seen in urban habitats than ravens. You will also be surprised to know that ravens have been found to imitate humans and are more intelligent than crows.


  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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