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What Is The Difference Between A Crow And A Raven?

What Is The Difference Between A Crow And A Raven?

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You have come to the right place if you find distinguishing between a crow and a raven difficult. Here we will discuss everything you need to know about crows vs. ravens. Keep reading to learn more.

The crow and raven are two popular black birds found worldwide. Many people find it challenging to understand the difference between these two birds, which belong to the same genus (Corvus).

The main difference is that the raven is noticeably bigger while the crow is comparatively small.

Size And Appearance

Crow Vs Raven

While the crow and raven are black, there are a few key differences between them in appearance. Generally, crows are smaller than ravens and have more triangular-shaped heads. Ravens have a more rounded head.

Crows measures about 17 inches from head to tail. They also have a wingspan of 3 inches. On the other hand, ravens measure around 25 inches from head to tail and have a wingspan of 4 inches.

Since ravens are larger, they are also heavier. A mature crow weighs half the weight of a mature raven. Crows weigh about 2 pounds, while ravens weigh about 4 pounds. 

You can also tell the two apart by looking at their beaks. While ravens have a thicker and more curved beaks, crows have pointed beaks. 

Another noticeable feature of the differences between the two is their tails. While crows have wedge-like shapes, ravens have more curved feathers that make up a fan-like shape when open.


Both the crow and raven are intelligent birds. However, the raven is considered one of the most intelligent birds on Earth.

They can make different tools and even use them to solve problems. They are known to plan for tasks beforehand, just like human beings.

A crow can also show signs of intelligence in its ability to adapt to new environments and solve problems.

They have a great memory and can remember human faces. However, their intelligence may not be as good as that of ravens. 

Crows usually have high social intelligence and understand that even humans are unique and should be approached differently.

They can recognize threatening individuals and be hostile to them when they meet. They tend to only approach humans they have interacted with before.


Both the raven and crow are scavengers. They like to eat dead animals and will hardly pass one. They are also carnivores and can eat live prey if necessary.

If you have chickens in your backyard, you must watch them as the two can be a threat. They will attack your birds, especially if they do not have any other meal options.

Besides eating the same types of food, there are other differences in the behaviors. For instance, ravens like traveling in pairs, while crows travel in groups most of the time.

While ravens prefer living in forests and wooded areas, crows prefer living in open areas.

The latter has the upper hand regarding the body language of crows and ravens. Unlike crows, ravens can articulate their elongated throat feathers for different displays. 

When it comes to migration, crows partially migrate. Some crows will take the trip, while others will stay home. On the other hand, ravens do not migrate and prefer to live in their natural homes.

Crows Vs Ravens


Crows normally have an even cowing sound. They usually make the sound when warning others about potential danger or when communicating with each other. 

A raven can also make a similar sound. However, their typical sound is known as the “croaking noise,” which is much deeper and throatier than the even cowing sound of crows.

They usually make the sound to establish dominance over other birds or when they want to mate.


Ravens are birds with highly glossed plumage. Their plumage shows iridescent greens, purples, and blues. They may sometimes have an oily sheen to their feathers. This makes them look more colorful.

Crows also have similar color-changing traits, although not as much as ravens. Therefore, you can tell the two apart by looking at the sheen amount on their feathers.

In addition, ravens have fluffier feathers than crows, especially around the head.

Do Crows Eat Chickens?

Crows kill and eat smaller or younger chickens, eggs, and chicks. They are only likely to attack if conditions are favorable. That is why they rarely go for adult chickens in the flock.

How To Protect Your Chickens From Birds Of Prey

One of the challenging things you will face when raising a flock is the predators. Here are a few ways to protect your backyard flock from birds of prey.

Covering The Run

Birds of prey like crows, ravens, and hawks tend to attack high. They can attack either from a perch or from the sky. Therefore, covering your run will offer a better solution by ensuring your birds are safe.

You can use a wire or netting to cover your run. This method is a bit cheaper and will save you money. It will also allow your birds to see the skyward.

The only disadvantage is that your chickens may become entangled and injure themselves. 

A more expensive but safer and easier method is getting a heavy, strong tarpaulin. It will provide shade for your chickens from the winter rain and summer sun. 

Crow Vs Raven

Provide Shade with Trees

Most birds of prey will hardly negotiate through branches. Therefore, providing trees in the run is a good way to prevent them from swooping in.

Trees will also help if your chickens are free-range. Trees and bushes rather than open land will ensure your birds have a place to hide.

Protect the Feeders

Chickens are usually vulnerable when feeding. With their heads lowered, they often become a sitting target for predators, such as birds of prey.

Some birds of prey are canny and will learn where your feeders are and lie in wait.

Therefore, you must take action if your waters and feeders are outside. You can place the feeders against a wall or build a covered shelter for the feeding area.

You should also cover your feeders so predators do not come for your chickens’ food.

Get a Rooster

One of the roles of a rooster in a flock is to protect the rest of the flock members from predator attacks. This is why roosters of nearly all chicken breeds are aggressive and tend to put up a strong fight against predators.

A good rooster is always alert to any threat to the flock. Their first reaction will mainly be to call the rest of the flock to a safe place. They will then attempt to fight off to protect their territory. 

However, before adding a rooster to your backyard flock, you must know the rules in your location.

Some residential areas and towns do not allow roosters because of the noise they are associated with. 

Install A Scarecrow

As the name suggests, a scarecrow scares crows. You can also use it to scare other birds of prey like hawks and ravens and keep your flock safe.

However, since most of these birds are highly intelligent, you must routinely move the scarecrows around.

If you do not move them around, the predators may notice scarecrows that do not move. Once the birds realize the scarecrows are not real, they will attack your birds.

Lock Up Your Flock

One of the best ways of protecting your chickens from birds of prey is by locking them up. You must ensure all your birds are safely locked up in their coop in the evening.

While many birds of prey tend to hunt during the day, others, like the owls, usually hunt at night. An owl can carry off a small-sized chicken.

Build a Shelter

If you do not have bushes or trees in your backyard to offer shelter for your flock to hide from birds of prey, you can build a simple shelter.

This will give your chickens a place to run to for safety whenever they see a predator.


Ravens and crows are similar; they are all large black birds, but that is where it ends. There are several differences between the two.

For instance, they do not behave the same way; one is larger than the other, has different sounds, is smarter than the other, and has different feathers.

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