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The Raven and American Crow

It is often incorrectly believed that the raven is the male and the crow is the female. It is not so! These are actually two distinct species even though they look similar.

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Several things can help differentiate the raven & the crow starting with size. The raven is the largest of the two has an average wingspan of 118 cm, compared to the American crow whose average size is 90 cm. To distinguish them in flight, the shape of the tail can be observed; the base of the tail of the crow is flat or slightly rounded, while the raven ends in a point or with a pronounced flare.

Their diets are also different. The raven is predominantly a scavenger, that is to say, it mainly eats the meat of dead animals, like a vulture for example. For this reason, its beak is larger and slightly hooked for it to tear the meat. The crow, is rather an omnivore. Its diet is varied and can change depending on food availability or its geographic location. We can find crows in inhabited areas because they take advantage improperly stored garbage for food!

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Their vocal cords are as easily developed as parrots

Both species are extremely intelligent! They can issue several varieties of sounds and are able to learn to imitate and even repeat words! On a few occasions at the Refuge Pageau we have had ravens and crows who could talk!