Many people use the terms 'raven' and 'crow' interchangeably, but they are actually quite different. Technically, since ravens belong to the crow (corvus) family of birds, they can be called crows - but not all crows are ravens. The two differ in a variety of ways.
Size First. Most noticeably, ravens are larger than crows. They are (on average) about the size of a hawk, where crows are approximately the size of a pigeon. A raven can be up to 64 cm in height, a crow’s height ranges up to 46 cm.
Call. If you're familiar with the call which crows make, you'd probably recognize the raven's call as being different. Crows have a more nasal, higher pitched call, where a raven's call is lower, and hoarser... almost a croaking sound. And if you have listened to the cries of both the birds, you will know that a crow’s sound is more irritating than that of ravens. A raven has the capability to imitate certain sounds as well. If you want to hear the difference for yourself, click here for a raven's call and crow's call.
Crows have a very fan-shaped tail, where raven's tails have more of a wedge-shape to them. This isn't very easy to tell if the bird is sitting on the ground, but when flying overhead, you can often get a good look at the shape of the tail.
There are more differences between crows and ravens, including their social habits and life span While a crow lives up to 8 years, a raven can live up to 30 years.
Though parrots are very smart, they aren’t the only birds with brains. Members of the corvid family – jays, crows and ravens – are extremely smart too.
Corvids can remember, analyze, innovate and problem solve. They even use tools. In every case, ravens shine. They are one of the most intelligent birds on earth, persistent and innovative in solving problems and known to outwit other critters, a feat which earned them human tributes as tricksters and gods. Ravens even play.
The Common Raven is an acrobatic flier, often doing rolls and somersaults in the air. One bird was seen flying upside down for more than a half-mile. Young birds are fond of playing games with sticks, repeatedly dropping them, then diving to catch them in midair.
There are more differences between crows and ravens, but these are the key points. They should help you determine whether the bird you're looking at is a raven or just a very large crow.
1. Crows and ravens differ in the size and ravens are bigger.
This is Raven-as the crow flies!