Crows vs Ravens - The Difference

Crows and ravens are two very different birds of the “crow” family. Although they are pretty similar in appearance and size, these birds differ significantly in their behavior and habitat. Of course, you can easily distinguish a crow from a raven by their coloration – crows tend to be much greyer while ravens have a darker coat with black feathers. Crows have a streight beak, are smaller than ravens, and have smaller tails. Both birds have a different call. A crow sounds like “Caw” while a raven sounds like “Crok”. 

Source: Noutch,

Crow vs. Raven: Appearance

Looking at the photo above, it’s easy to see whether we’re talking about a raven or a crow – but let’s take a closer look at what makes each bird so unique. One thing that helps you differentiate between the two is color – even without knowing anything about these birds!

Crows are much grayer than ravens, with black tops of the feathers only appearing on the head and along the beak. Crows are also much smaller compared to ravens! Aside from that, you might also notice that ravens have distinctly different eyes from those of crows – their iris appears yellow or orange in color rather than being red like a crow’s. Other distinctive features include their wedge-shaped tails and sharp claws on their feet.

The beaks of these birds aren’t too different either – both types can easily bite through bones due to their hard upper and lower bill (also known as “mandibles”) designed specifically for that purpose. Crows have a straight beak, smaller beak than ravens. The difference in size all comes down to their diet – ravens eat much more than crows, which is why they’re “bigger” even though they are both members of the Corvidae family (meaning that they’re closely related). Also, while crows are omnivores – and thus can feed on various small animals such as insects, fish, eggs, fruits, etc. – ravens often feed on carrion (dead animals or carcasses) or even prey upon others smaller birds.

The jaws and prolonged stomachs of ravens have made them natural predators over time – it’s not surprising after all since their cousins include eagles! Ravens also have powerful legs with sharp claws used to hunt small mammals, dig for food, or even help them walk on ice.

Crow vs. Raven: Habitat and Range

Ravens are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America. However, they mainly live in cold areas, including mountainous regions, where they feel safe from predators such as wolves or bears. Ravens have become so used to these habitats that some individuals have even started creating nests near human-inhabited areas – while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it’s not unusual for ravens to keep away vermin like rats from our fields and towns, however, it does lead to some conflicts between humans and birds due to their scavenging nature!

Crows, on the other hand, are only found in North America. They prefer areas with trees or farmland where they can find easy food. Some crows also live in cities where a lot of food can be found – for example; you might see them scavenging around for leftover scraps in trash bins!


Other than that, crows stay away from predators by living in herds. If one crow notices a predator nearby, it’ll make an alarm call to warn all its friends about the danger, which will then spread pretty quickly through the entire flock (meaning that most ravens will run away before the predator even gets a chance to spot them).

Crow vs. Raven: Behavior

Like their appearance, these birds can also be easily distinguished by their behavior. To begin with, crows tend to stay in larger groups – while ravens usually live alone or in pairs.
Crows are considered very intelligent animals – they’re able to use tools (like sticks) and reason out solutions for simple problems despite not being able to speak, just like us humans! They’re often considered just as intelligent as the great apes (gorillas and chimpanzees).

Ravens are much more independent – they use various vocalizations when communicating with other ravens, including making a croaking sound before flying off if they need to warn others about the danger.
Occasionally, crows might also make various sounds, including an alarm call or even clicking their tongue. While ravens tend to stay in groups or pairs all year round, crows live in small flocks – usually made up of 5-10 individuals – during summer before separating into smaller groups during winter. 

One group is known as a “wisdom” and will stick together for years at a time!


Not every raven is a crow, but you’re never wrong if you call a crow a raven. And if you like either of these birds, get one of our bird art prints! Perfect to decorate your wall fast, easy, and affordable! Available in different colors and sizes!