Raven vs Crow


Due to their similar appearance and behavior, ravens and crows are two of the most commonly confused birds in the world. Both are members of the Corvidae family, which also includes intelligent and adaptable species like magpies and jays.

While ravens and crows share many characteristics, they differ significantly in size, appearance, voice, habitat, and behavior. Understanding these distinctions can help birdwatchers and nature lovers identify and appreciate these fascinating birds.

Who are Ravens?

  • Common Name: Raven
  • Scientific Name: Corvus corax
  • Length: 22 to 27 inches (56 to 69 cm)
  • Weight: 1.5 to 4 pounds (0.7 to 1.8 kg)
  • Wingspan: 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters)
  • Lifespan: Up to 20 years in the wild
  • Diet: Carrion, insects, fruit, and even small animals


Ravens (Corvus corax)  are a large, black bird in the Corvidae family. They can be found in a variety of locations around the world, including North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Common Raven Call

Citation Richard E. Webster, XC773723. Accessible at

Citation Simon Elliott, XC763188. Accessible at

Ravens are larger than crows in terms of size, with wingspan of up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) and weight of up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg). They are distinguished by a shaggy throat and a large, sharp bill. Ravens are distinguished by their black feathers and their throaty, croaking call.

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Who are Crows?

  • Common Name: Crow
  • Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Length: 17 inches (43 cm)
  • Weight: 12 and 21 ounces (340 and 600 grams)
  • Wingspan: 33 to 39 inches (84 to 99 cm)
  • Lifespan: Up to 8 years in the wild
  • Diet: Insects, fruits, seeds, and carrion


Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) are a type of bird in the Corvidae family. They can be found all over the world, including in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Common Crow Call

Citation Sunny Tseng, XC753122. Accessible at

Citation Thomas G. Graves, XC630422. Accessible at

Crows are medium-sized birds, measuring about 17 inches (43 cm) in length and having a wingspan of about 35 inches (89 cm). They are distinguished by their black plumage, sharp beak, and strong legs for perching and walking. Crows have a variety of vocalizations, including the commonly associated harsh cawing sound. 


Raven vs Crow

Feature  Raven  Crow
Size Up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) wingspan, up to 4 lbs (1.8 kg) Up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) wingspan, up to 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg)
Appearance Larger bill, shaggy throat Smoother throat, smaller, more pointed bill
Voice Wide range of vocalizations, mimicry of sounds Harsh, cawing call
Habitat Prefers remote and wild areas Adaptable to various environments
Behavior Intelligent, problem-solving abilities       Intelligent, tool use observed

Raven vs Crow: 05 Key Differences

Ravens and crows are two of the most commonly misidentified birds in the world due to their similar appearance and behavior. Here are a few key distinctions between the two:

1. Size: Ravens are larger than crows, with wingspan up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) and weight up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg), whereas crows typically have a wingspan of around 3 feet (0.9 meters) and weigh up to 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg).

2. Appearance: Both birds have black feathers and a distinct caw, but there are some minor differences in their appearance. Crows have a smoother throat and a smaller, more pointed bill, while ravens have a larger bill and a shaggy throat.

3. Voice: Both birds have a harsh, cawing call, but ravens have a broader range of vocalizations and are known for their ability to mimic other sounds, including human speech.

4. Habitat: Ravens prefer remote and wild areas such as mountains and forests, whereas crows are more adaptable and can be found in a wider range of environments, including cities.

5. Behavior: Ravens are known for their intelligence and problem-solving skills, and they are frequently seen playing games with other birds or even dogs. Crows are also highly intelligent, as evidenced by their use of tools to obtain food.

Who is Smarter Ravens or Crows?

While both birds are intelligent, there is evidence that ravens are slightly smarter than crows. Ravens have a higher brain-to-body mass ratio than crows, which may give them an advantage in cognitive abilities. Furthermore, ravens have been observed engaging in more complex social behaviors than crows, such as games with other birds and forming long-term partnerships with mates.

Where do Ravens Live?

Ravens can be found all over the world, including North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. They prefer more remote and wild habitats such as mountains, forests, and tundra regions, but they can also be found in coastal areas, deserts, and other environments.

Are Crows and Ravens Related?

Crows and ravens are both members of the Corvidae family and genus, Corvus, and share many physical and behavioral traits, such as black feathers, sharp beaks, and intelligence.

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