Raven and Crow – Know the Differences


Throughout historical past, the raven and crow have been misunderstood, maligned, and typically confused with each other. The latter level is no surprise since ravens and crows associated at a household stage. They’re additionally a part of the identical genus (Corvus).  The raven being Corvus corax whereas the crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos. They look related too, each have black feathers, look related whereas flying, and are hardly ever in the identical space to supply a comparative distinction. Its solely once we study them with a scientific-primarily based comparability are the variations seen.

But earlier than we get to the bodily assessment, its value taking a fast take a look at how each birds have appeared in historical past, delusion, and legend, typically interchangeably. Dark, shiny, noisy and unsettling are a few of the methods these birds are see. Both have been overly-related to the darker, or considerably destructive facet of popular culture. The raven is commonly associated to subjects of loss of life and dying resulting from it’s black plumage and weight loss program of lifeless and putrefying flesh. Sometimes the crow can be painted on this mild, though incorrectly.  Additionally, each are utilized in books, motion pictures, and different visible performances to challenge a sense of worry or common uneasiness.

In 1845 Edgar Allen Poe penned his well-known work, The Raven. Line after line of the poem pulled the reader right into a horrible feeling of being trapped by the tapping of the raven; cementing the fowl as an object of terror. Prior to that, Shakespeare used the black birds as harbingers of doom and despair in each Macbeth and Othello.  The 1963 masterpiece by Alfred Hitchcock, referred to as The Birds, shook viewers to their core. Murders of offended crows had been attacking and killing folks together with different species. In the 1994 film, The Crow, a crow faucets on the gravestone of a lifeless rock star, which miraculously awakens him from the lifeless to avenge his loss of life and the loss of life of his fiancé. This implied energy connects the crow to the supernatural. A gaggle of ravens is known as a conspiracy of ravens. Groups of crows are referred to as a homicide of crows and typically a cauldron of crows.

In mythology each birds had been seen as dangerous omens by some cultures and in others, revered.  One perception was that the black birds had been spies or carried messages to earth from the Gods themselves. The Celts believed that their Goddess Queen The Morrigan was current when crows and ravens collected on the battlefield to feast on the flesh of fallen warriors. Many Native Americans noticed ravens and crows as tricksters or harmful form shifters. Norse God Odin had two ravens who had been spies; Huginn and Muinnin had been their names. In the Book of Genesis, after the nice flood waters receded, a raven is the first fowl Noah sends out to search out land, not a white dove. And the record continues, far too lengthy to place it right here.  Ravens and crows have been a part of the historical past of many cultures throughout time and throughout the world.

raven and crow

Physical Appearance & Vocalization Comparison

Our facet-by-facet comparability begins with physique dimension. The raven is far bigger and heavier than a crow. A crow is about the dimension of a wild dove (roughly 18″-20″ in size), whereas the raven is nearer to that of a hawk (round 25″ in size). An grownup raven will weigh wherever from 30-40 oz. (round 2 lbs. on common) whereas an grownup crow, even a big one is about 20 oz. (normally 1 lb. on common). The raven has a broader wingspan. than the crow. The invoice of a raven is bigger than the invoice of a crow, as are the talons. Ravens even have longer and thicker feathers.

Crows have straight wings with little or no bend to them, whereas the wings of a raven are longer with a extra seen curve. The raven has pointed wings and wedge-formed tail whereas the crow’s wings are splayed and blunt formed. The tail of a crow may be described as brief and fan-formed. When in flight, we see a number of extra variations. The crow flaps its wings extra continuously whereas the raven prefers to glide extra typically. Yet even with the flapping, the crow flies almost silently whereas the raven wings make a definite sound whereas in flight. Additionally, one indisputable fact that most individuals in all probability wouldn’t know, is that ravens will sometimes somersault in flight. Crows journey in flocks. Ravens are normally solitary or in mating pairs, however hardly ever, if ever, in a giant gathering. The raven lives for about 30 years in a traditional habitat, whereas the crow solely lasts 8 years on common.

Comparing vocalizations of raven and crow, we hear one other noticeable distinction. Crows make a ‘Kaw’ sound, which is damaged up right into a code of types. First they emit a single excessive-pitched and fairly loud ‘Kaw’ adopted by a sequence of brief ‘Kaws’. The raven, on the different hand, has a deep sound with a number of completely different “words”. Although not likely phrases, the completely different sounds are, “wonk wonk”, “croooaaak”, “gronk- gronk”, and “tok”. In order to essentially perceive the variations in the sounds, included under are examples of every fowl, performing for the viewers, so to talk.

Social Activities, Diet, & Behavior

For most of the year, crows roost in massive gatherings. The variety of birds ranges from just a few hundred to greater than a thousand. In city areas theses roosts are typically close to meals sources. Often locations which are good for for scavenging, similar to trash dumps, boardwalks, or farm fields. Crows are omnivorous, and will eat absolutely anything. This contains different birds, meals scraps, eggs, seeds, nuts, popcorn, worms, small rodents. They will devour carrion, however solely once in a while. As a scavenger, crows are relentless. They will strip an space naked if left to their very own wishes. This conduct is why farmers put scarecrows of their fields to guard their crops. Crows are typically considered a nuisance animal that spreads illness.

Ravens on the different hand are extra solitary in nature. They are sometimes discovered alone or in pairs; hardly ever in a bunch. Unlike crows, ravens are normally present in coastal areas, forests or wooded areas, preferring to keep away from bigger inhabitants facilities. They camp out on the edge of those forests and hunt in adjoining meadows. Ravens additionally will eat virtually something. The record contains carrion, arachnids, bugs, small animals, different birds, eggs, lizards, fish, grains, berries, and virtually any kind of human meals, recent or rotten.

Perceived Intelligence

Both raven and crow are clever. In truth all birds from the Corvus genus are collectively thought-about smarter than virtually each different fowl present in nature. Both ravens and crows have demonstrated robust drawback fixing abilities. It is believed that each are summary thinkers, which means they’ve an creativeness. Both birds have been noticed making and utilizing instruments for varied causes. They perceive how water displacement works, how levers transfer, and different advanced bodily actions occur. Crows have demonstrated the means to tell apart particular person people by recognizing facial options. They even have a particular trait of ‘gifting’ people with objects. No one is bound why they do it.

Both birds, plus the others in the Corvidae household, appear aware of loss of life. They have been noticed having what people may describe as a funeral when one in all their very own dies. Birds will collect and take turns strolling round the deceased fowl. Researchers imagine that is extra of a studying occasion, as if they’re at an post-mortem, slightly than paying respects. The surviving birds are stated to be observing the lifeless one for indicators of trauma, or different doable causes for loss of life in the hopes of avoiding the identical plight themselves. Researchers additionally imagine that the gathering interval is used for birds to ‘talk’ to 1 one other a couple of myriad of subjects.


Even although they’re associated, raven and crow don’t get alongside. Any interactions between the two species are normally violent and aggressive. Crows are normally the aggressor (about 97%) of the time. Ravens are quicker and haven’t any bother escaping the harassment.  Crows are discovered throughout the whole United States, whereas ravens are solely seen in the west and higher east coastal areas. If you’ve come this far, chances are high the subsequent time you see a big black fowl, you’ll know for certain which one it’s; a raven or a crow.

Additional Reading

Mythology and Folklore of the Raven

Crow Symbolism

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Source link . Rewritten article. Originally written by thegypsy

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