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What Is the Difference Between a Raven and a Crow



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focus... What is the difference between a raven and a crow I love to see people

pay attention to the Ravens but I get asked is that a raven or a crow

everywhere I go so I'm going to show you how to tell the difference between the

two birds even when they're high in the sky! One of the smartest things I did

when I was learning to become a chef was I took the time to become a sommelier

also if you saw the movie "Somm" you saw we learned a meticulous method to not

only tell the difference between the different grape varieties and the

regions they come from, we use all of our senses to be able to look for the minut

differences even between grapes grown on the valley floor, and those grown on a

hillside so here I've put together something similar to help you tell the

difference between a raven and a crow

in the western United States the two I work with most are the common Raven and

the American crow. Now we're just going to start with the adult birds we'll

start by looking at the size and shape of the body beak wings and tail and then

we'll consider its actions while its landing sitting and flying. Next we'll

listen to the birds various sounds and calls and then that'll help you come to

the conclusion is this a raven or a crow. Let's start with size, buy when looking

at the birds you can see side-by-side it's an obvious difference but rarely do

you see them side-by-side in the wild. A crow weighs about a pound to a pound and

a half and a raven is about three pounds almost twice the size. Also pay attention

to the bill or the beak. You notice the crow's is smaller and sharper where a raven's

is larger and thicker. Also a raven many times will have a hook on the end of its

beak a crow (usually) will not. Now when they're flying in the sky or above you you'll

see the Raven is much thicker with a wingspan of 46 to 54 inches a crow has a

wingspan of only 32 to about 38 inches. As a crow is coming at you watch the

tail, and then the Ravens tail it's more diamond shape where a crows seems cut

off and may have a little nick in it. A raven also has thick throat hackles that

a crow does not have. Now let's look at the actions a crow when it lands seems

far more nervous will flit us feathers and we'll bob up and down. When a raven lands it's much more secure there are exceptions, in high winds a

raven will land and will adjust itself to the high winds appear like its

flitting but actually it's just gaining its balance. Also notice when a crow is

making its call it will bob up and down as it does so. When a raven makes its

call it usually just kind of leans forward and kind of flaps its wings up

and down in very short motions like this. When the birds are flying you'll notice

that a crow does a lot more flapping of its wings, that's because it cannot soar

the way a raven does. When a Raven is in the air, if it can it will soar and it's

a beauty to watch and here we use the Grand Canyon and a number of Ravens to

show you what a raven can do!

Now crows may glide as they're descending down to the ground but for

the most part they cannot soar and they certainly can't catch the thermals and

go high in the air the way a raven will. You may also notice when a crow is

making a lot of racket in the air it's trying to drive out an intruder in its

area. Notice the crow dive-bombs its opponent and ravens take great pride in

getting crows to chase them. The crows will do this with hawks also. Now when a

raven has an intruder in the area, it tends to escort it out flying with it

rather than dive-bombing it. Now to me this is the most important part, listen,

because Ravens don't speak crow. Crows make a caw caw caw and that's their

number-one call. Listen to them when they get together as a group...

Notice the crows pitch is much higher. Listen in this next segment, and

you'll hear crows clicking and cawing, and one Raven going

kronk, kronk, kronk... See to me crow sounds very different than Ravens. And here's the one

Raven again... Ravens are also known to make a much larger variety of sounds. A

raven pushes a lot of wind with its wings so

its wings will actually make sound when it's going over your head. A crow will

(generally) not do this... listen...

Okay one last thing and this is one of my favorites because I have never seen a

crow make this move. A raven will fold its wings and drop upside down sometimes

for hundreds of feet. Both the male and female Ravens do this, sometimes right

after one another, and sometimes in unison. In high winds they'll repeat this

move over and over again, drop again thank you very much, that was like

perfect! Two other birds that can be confusing, are the juvenile Ravens

and the turkey vultures. Ravens when they're young tend to act more like

crows, so therefore it could be quite confusing not only that their feathers

aren't grown out all the way so they don't seem quite as big as an adult

Raven. However I find the sounds different, much more screamish than the

crows caw caw caw. But addition to the sound the size and the pink mouth are a dead

giveaway it's a juvenile Raven. And then there's the turkey vulture. Of course on

the ground it doesn't look anything like a raven, high up in the sky sometimes it

can fool you at first, but if you watch turkey vultures tend to rock, they have

lighter colored feathers underneath and their head appears small. So in review

Ravens are bigger, their beak is thicker,

their wingspan is longer, their tail has more of a wedge or a diamond shape, a

Ravens actions are more calm. Crow appears more nervous. When flying the

crow flaps and Yaks. A Raven does a lot more soaring. He's the one that's

gonna catch the thermals and ride them high into the sky. Whereas a crow would

have to flap to get that high. And finally take time to listen to them. The

crow, for the most part is pretty limited to his caw caw caw caw caw which

is his most common call, and also the clicking sound. Now that will make more

sounds and especially the young ones but for the most part they'll never make the

same types of sounds that Ravens make. (Raven calling, rock rock rock...)

Thank you! (clicking sound) Something else? (gurgling sound) Gonna talk to me?

What do yo have to say? Just know that both young Ravens and young crows will chatter and

make sounds like these (raspy guttural sounds...)

And then just let me leave you with a quick one of a baby crow, an adult crow,

and a raven all together! (Baby crow cry, adult crow cawing, raven kronk, kronk)

Would you get that crow? hmm? Would you get that crow? (Both birds call at same time) Perfect...

Caw and a rock, great difference between the two, hey bud thank you! Test your knowledge

with our raven and crow test. You can see more of our videos and learn much

more about the common Raven on both our Vimeo channel, and our YouTube. Check out

the Raven Diaries. Our numerous books and movies and then

get out in the wild and enjoy these magnificent Birds!

What are you doing huh?

You going to dive for me?

Dive for me in that pretty sun? There we go ... perfect... Thank you!