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Thread: Crow vs Raven

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Crow vs Raven

    I have always wondered what the criteria is, if any, in naming a specific corvid either a crow or raven. While the east coast American crow and the Common raven show differences, these differences are not consistant in corvids from other areas. For example, in viewing a documentary on wolves in Yellowstone, the ravens there sounded just like the American crow, and looked virtually the same, except for their face. In another documentary on the intelligance of crows, many of the birds simply called crows had the bluish tint attributed to the common raven. I cannot see any consistancy in the differentiation of the two, perhaps someone could help me out on this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Co. Leitrim, Eire


    Frank; As you're evidently in US and I'm in Eire, this may well get 'lost in translation'. Nor can I speak for American 'Crows'. But; I once glanced up to see what I took to be two Collared Doves chasing after a 'crow'.

    Then my actual brain kicked in and worked out what I was really looking at. It was two Hooded Crows chasing a Raven!

    The clue here is in my mind instantly taking the gray birds to be something as small as Collared Doves. Because the Raven was so huge, by comparison. It was a brain fart. But, a very telling one.

    So, I guess, the simple version of what I'm trying to explain here is that Ravens are a lot bigger than (European) Crows.

    Have a look at your Crows and their various comparative sizes, in Sibley, perhaps?

  3. #3
    Senior Member AndyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    Hi, I wouldn't pay too much attention to documentary audio. The audio is often edited to suit the soundtrack and not for accuracy. Some sound editor may have substituted a crow call from a library because it "sounded better". Basically, Ravens are large and their deeper call is easily recognized with practice. This video is vey helpful:

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