• Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Yes, I found it much more challenging to distinguish them from pictures of ravens.
    • I go mainly by ear—they are both much more ‘visible’ by sound than sight. Outside of downtown Philadelphia, along the river, we have American Crows, Fish Crows, and the occasional Common Raven.
      • Bonnie Lee
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I agree, it is much easier to ID by sound. I am a novice birder and just don't seem to be quick enough to catch flight. Bonnie
    • p
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I find the trick seems to be to look at ALL the clues - wings (rounded, five fingered), tail (square ended), head shape, beak shape, dark eyes, feathers around head and neck.  Any one of these may not be enough to identify (especially wing tips), but if I can see more than one part clearly, then I can probably accurately identify a crow.
      • Tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        All of the characters reduced into one form: that of crow. Gestalt!
    • Jeremiah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My tip is that non-crows are sometimes more glossy, like their feathers have more oils.
      • Chelsea
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        How interesting! I will pay more attention to this in the field. Thanks for the neat tip!
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Yes, I am quite confident.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Crows have dark eyes, many other black birds have yellow eyes
      • Karrin
        Participant
        Chirps: 47
        I noticed that, too, but I wasn't sure if that was always the case.
      • Chelsea
        Participant
        Chirps: 6

        @Karrin It isn’t always the case. I noticed the eye color difference between the American Crow and other blackbirds during one of the flying ID quizzes and applied the eye color technique to the next question. I was shocked to get it wrong! The Boat Tailed Grackler had darker eyes, and the American Crow had lighter eyes, because of the way the light was hitting them!

      • @Chelsea This is a good point you mention.  Kevin McGowan has a "Rule of Three" when it comes to bird ID and part of that is to try to find at least three distinguishing characteristics when making a bird identification as relying on just one feature will rarely work.

    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Between crow and raven, sometimes the fully spread raven tail looks like a crow to me. learning the wing tips! I have both around my home, so want to know them apart flying overhead.
      • Chelsea
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        I really like that you can count the number of “finger” feathers. 5 for crows and 4 for ravens!
    • Elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      In person, it's easy for me to distinguish crows from ravens.  Ravens aren't really in my area, so I don't see them much, if at all.  But if I do see them, they are much larger than crows, so that makes it easy.  Seeing pictures of each bird is a little more challenging. As far as crows vs. other blackbirds, I start with eye color, as many other black birds have light eyes, whereas crows have dark eyes.  I also look for other colors in the feathers.  Crows are all black, but other blackbirds may have sheen in their feathers or even bright colors or distinguishing colors.
    • I am feeling more confident with distinguishing crows from other blackbirds. I cannot say for certain that I am 100% on crows vs ravens though.  We have a lot of grackles here so determining the male grackles vs crows is pretty easy when you get close enough.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      The yellow eyes of Grackles are an easy identifier if they're close enough to see
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I am around here, and I think I would be where the big grackles live as well.  Some of the boat-tailed grackle photos in the SnapID were tough!
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Crows are also exquisitely beautiful.
    • Ticia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LOVE CROWS !  Not really a "birder" / more aspiring naturalist  :) Don't think we have Ravens here in Pa. (?).  Crows always alert me to a perched Owl nearby.  I could be inside the house, but when I hear them raising a ruckus, I know to grab the binocs and run outside ! Am thoroughly enjoying this course !
    • Chuck
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I now feel more confident in identifying American Crows from other kinds of blackbirds, but I still lack confidence in distinguishing American Crows from Common Ravens. However, the class builds my confidence and sharpens my eyes, so I feel I'll improve. Differentiating crows from other blackbirds is easier. The eye color and size differences are key characteristics that help identifying crows from other blackbirds.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Feel confident, also recognizing eye color is distinct compared to other birds is helpful.
    • Jeannie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      If I were to see a raven, I'm pretty sure I'd get it wrong! Mainly because I have no experience with ravens. But I do well distinguishing crows from other birds. Grackles have those big yellow eyes. Also crows are much larger than other blackbirds. From a distance, I can always tell a crow in flight. There's a certain quality to the movement of the wings, it's hard to put into words, but I see it, I just know.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am confident about my ability to distinguish crows from grackles, blackbirds, and cowbirds, but less so from the raven.
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Agree.  Dark Eye is the best.   However head shaper plus beak are also differentiators.
    • Vicki g
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      the dark eye color often helped me distinguish, as well as the brownish cap for the cowbird, the midnight blue highlights for some grackles and the red wings of the blackbird, and in the field, I am getting to know some of the red winged blackbirds calls. I do see beak shape and tail shape differences, but have not obsorbed well enough for those to truly help me distinguish in the field - especially if no comparison available. As well I think I would get tripped up by the Brewer Blackbird. However, I expect the crow's call would be a good tip-off!
    • Blackbirds are small, and you can see their pupils. Crows are larger , have broader bills, and have dark eyes.
    • Blackbirds are small, and you can see their pupils, crows are larger , have broader bills, and have dark eyes.
    • Lucy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Not so good with flying crows and ravens. But there are no ravens around here. Lots of grackles, but they are easy to identify.
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm confident that I can identify crows.
    • Audrey
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I am very confident that I can tell crows and ravens and, yes, the "blackbirds" apart. Crows are party birds. They do loops in the air and are very noisy; they also have rounded tails and shorter neck feathers than ravens. Grackles have long tail feathers and, sometimes, yellow eyes. Ravens, however, have diamond-shaped tails and longer neck feathers than crows. I hope these tips help! (:
    • Kleopatra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am confident.