• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Are you confident in your ability to distinguish crows from ravens - and other “blackbirds”?  If so, do you have additional id tips that you use? If not, what is still confusing you?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am pretty comfortable with telling the difference between Ravens and Crows. In pictures it can be difficult. But when I see them in person, it's pretty easy, especially when they are making noise. LOL
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      They look so similar. I have trouble at times identifying from the photos
    • tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am pretty confident. Definitely easier when they are making noise though. Then it is quite clear. I am surprised that the Raven map did not indicate ravens where I live (finger lakes region, NY) because I have ravens every spring. Perhaps they are traveling through during spring  migration? The crows are quite inhospitable to the Raven that dare come into area.
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Grackles have a yellow ring around their eyes and their feathers are almost iridescent. Cow birds have brown heads.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Crows (and ravens) have the tuft of feathers on top of their beak.  It is larger on the raven it seems.  Grackles have more of a long skinny tail.
    • Hope
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      The eyes are different from the eyes of the grackles. Also the grackles bodies are slimmer.
    • Elisabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I can often tell a crow by its cawing vs the ronking of ravens.   Crows can also be very melodious.
    • Louise
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Most of the other "blackbirds" have yellow eyes. You can sometimes count the five feathers in the crow's wing tip vs. four in the raven. The tip of the crow beak is smooth, that of others looks jagged.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Sometime it is difficult to see the 5 feathers and I also have difficulty when distinguishing them in large groups.
    • Shiny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      A crow seems to have a stouter bill and they are completely black compared to a grackle, their eye colors are also a hint.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I feel fairly confident but seem to have a bit of trouble with the in flight identification. I think it may be the distance though.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I find out ravens' tails r not always wedge shape (with a longer feather in the middle) somehow, which misleads me to think they r crows.
    • Raysee
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live southeast, so we don't get any ravens, but I can usually tell crows from blackbirds from the eyes, the size, the tail, and sometimes the color if I'm up close.
    • Gracklefeeder1
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Check the eyes! We're loaded with Grackles so I can immediately spot the difference.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      We have both ravens and crows where I live in Utah.  Ravens seem more likely to soar while crows have that typical "rowing" powered flight.  Also ravens more likely to be in the mountains.  They can occur at lower elevations too, but the crows mostly stick to the valleys and towns. Still get stumped sometimes at a distance if I can't get a good look at the tail shape.  The soaring of ravens is a good feature except in cold temperatures where they have to flap more (no thermals at 20 below zero).
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in the Pacific Northwest and found it interesting that some consider our crows to be a different species than the American Crow.  We moved here from the Midwest and I have always thought that the crows here are bigger than the ones I grew up with in Iowa.  Is that an accurate observation or just me not remembering correctly?
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      When telling crows from grackles I find eye color is helpful.
    • Margot
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Bird shape.
    • Kurt
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      Sometimes I think I get it, by beak size, or amount of feathers at the neck...then it turns out I was wrong! I need to keep looking at the beaks of crows and ravens to help distinguish!
    • I got it pretty well.  If you can see the eyes, anything but dark brown/blackish is not a crow another blackbird.  Sometimes I'm sure I can miss label ravens & crows.
    • Juliet
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      So far so good between the tail feathers and the beaks.
    • crow landing a While my hearing is not great and clearly not good enough to differentiate between various songbirds, corvids are a group that allows me to use sound as a signal.   For crows and ravens, I often start scanning the skies when I hear their characteristic calls.  So, I know what/who to look for.  The same is true for magpies.  The jays often leave me wondering, as I look into trees and bushes to find to source of their very variable sounds.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I don’t see any ravens from my home in the North Carolina piedmont, so it is not usually an issue.  I typically know I’m in raven territory when I hear the deep, guttural call.  Crows are around everyday!
    • Greg
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Crows and Ravens are always gonna be tough to tell apart, but I certainly have a lot more to go by to check while taking this course. The snap ID is an absolute blast ! I'll go back to those again and again. Of course, the ultimate learning is while we're outside watching these intelligent and interesting critters. I find crows and especially ravens to be absolutely remarkable and full of spirit. Nature has so much to offer, teach and bewilder us. And it just keeps giving!