What is the difference between a crow and a crow?

An American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) with clear markings on the feathers.

The name “crow” is used to designate an entire family of birds, Corvidae, which includes the crow species. To put it simply, all crows are crows; but crows can also be jays, magpies or other birds. The terms “raven” and “raven” are actually very general and can be used to refer to a number of different related birds in the genus Corvus. In the United States, most people use these terms to refer to the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and the common crow (Corvus corax). While these black birds have many similarities, there are differences in their appearance, noise, and habitat.

size differences

A crow (Corvus corax).

The most notable difference between a crow and a crow is size; in most cases, the largest black birds of this genus are known as crows. Common crows are noticeably larger than American crows, for example. Crows average 25 inches (64 cm) tall with a 4-foot (122 cm) wing span, roughly the size of a hawk, while crows are about 18 inches (46 cm) tall and their wings measure 3 feet (91 cm), similar to a dove.

Appearance

a crow.

These two types of birds may also have some differences in their feathers. Both are iridescent black, although older crows’ feathers are generally lighter. A crow’s feathers glow a blue or purple hue when the sun hits them, while an American crow can appear purple with green wings. Crows can fluff their feathers into a mane to show off, while a crow’s individual feathers are larger and pointy, giving the throat a shaggy appearance.

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You can see crows, not crows, in the cornfields.

Crows and crows also look different during flight. Crows tend to fly high and sometimes do somersaults in flight. Their wings are longer and thinner, and the primaries – the main flight feathers on the wings – are also longer and have more space between them. Birds’ tails also look different when spread out; a crow’s tail curves evenly like a shell, while a crow’s tail meets at a triangular point.

A crow’s beak may look a little thicker than a crow’s, but a crow’s beak tends to be larger overall. It also tends to curve towards the end, as the crow’s beak descends about half to two-thirds of the way along it.

sounds

One of the most interesting differences between the two birds is in their vocalizations. As anyone who has ever tried to dissuade birds from walking around by placing a scarecrow knows, a crow’s caws are often considered annoying and repetitive. A crow’s voice is more varied, however, and is capable of mimicking other birds and animals. Its most characteristic noise is a deep, high-pitched sound, which is generally considered more musical than the crow’s call.

Habitat and other differences

Crows are tolerant of noisy and crowded areas with people and other animals, which gives them a reputation for harassing farmers’ cornfields, as they like to gather seeds, fruits and vegetables in groups. Crows like privacy in their solitary hunt for insects, fruit and carrion, so they are more likely to be found in remote forests, meadows and hills. They adapt well to many different environments, however, and are even found in arctic areas.

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The life expectancy of the two birds varies; a crow usually lives 30 years, while a crow averages only eight years, although they can live longer in captivity. Crows are also very susceptible to West Nile virus, and many birds have died from this disease since 1999.

related birds

There are at least 9 different species called ravens and 30 species with the name crow, plus a number of sub-species of each. In addition, other species within the Corvus genus include the Western Jackdaw, the Daurian Jackdaw, and the Rook, all three of which are also solid black birds. The wider Carvidae family includes a wider range of sizes and colors, including treepies, choughs, magpies, and jays.

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