Ravens and crows are often confused. They're both fairly large, black birds, and and can be hard to tell apart. Below are a few tips on telling these two winged creatures apart.
1) Ravens are bigger. With an almost 4-foot wingspan and a length of about 27", ravens are larger than your everyday crow, which has a wingspan of 3 feet and a length of 20".
2) Ravens are usually seen alone or in pairs. Crows, on the other hand, are very social and travel in larger groups, which may number into the thousands.
3) Ravens have a very large bill, while crows have a more moderate-sized bill.
4) In flight, ravens have a diamond or wedge-shaped tail as several of their central tail feathers are longer then the outer tail feathers. Crows, on the other hand, have tail feathers of equal size that spread out like a fan. Ravens' wings have four feather "fingers" while crows' wings have five feather "fingers." And ravens are known for their graceful flight, which includes soaring, gliding and slow flaps.
5) Listen to their calls: ravens make a "deep, throaty croak," while crows have more of a "strong, harsh caw," according to allaboutbirds.org.
6) Want to attract crows and ravens to your yard? Put some food out, such as peanuts (for crows) or bird seed and pet food (for ravens). Or just leave the garbage accessible.
The next time you see a big black bird, stop and take a closer look. Chances are, you'll quickly be able to figure out which of these common birds you're seeing. Try it out below...