Are ravens bigger than crows?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Ravens are indeed bigger than crows. While both ravens and crows belong to the same family of birds, Corvidae, ravens are generally larger in size compared to crows. In fact, ravens are among the largest passerine (perching) birds, with some species reaching a similar size to that of a Red-tailed Hawk.

On average, ravens measure around 24 to 27 inches in length, with a wingspan of about 46 to 56 inches. In contrast, crows are typically smaller, measuring about 17 to 21 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 33 to 39 inches. These size differences are quite noticeable when the two birds are observed side by side.

Another key distinction between ravens and crows is their behavior and social structure. Ravens are often seen traveling in pairs or small family groups, while crows are more commonly observed in larger flocks. This difference in social behavior is partly due to their feeding habits and ecological niche.

In terms of appearance, ravens and crows have some similarities but can be distinguished by certain characteristics. One notable feature to look for when identifying these birds is their tail. Crows have a fan-shaped tail, where all the feathers are roughly the same length, giving it a straight and even appearance when spread. On the other hand, ravens have a wedge-shaped tail, with longer outer feathers that give the tail a more pointed and elongated look when spread.

It’s worth noting that there are several species of ravens and crows worldwide, and their sizes and characteristics may vary to some extent. However, the general trend remains the same, with ravens being larger than crows across the board.

In my personal experience, I have had the opportunity to observe both ravens and crows in different environments. While living in a rural area, I often saw ravens flying overhead, their impressive size and distinctive calls making them stand out among other birds. On the other hand, in urban areas or parks, crows were more commonly seen, often gathering in large groups and displaying their characteristic cawing sounds. These observations further reinforced the noticeable size difference between the two species.

To summarize, ravens are indeed bigger than crows. Their larger size, different social behavior, and distinct tail shape make them easily distinguishable from crows. However, it’s important to remember that both birds are highly intelligent and fascinating creatures, each with their own unique characteristics and behaviors.