Have you seen a few birds that you thought were Crows but then suddenly realized there was something different? Then you got caught in a spiral of wondering how many blackbirds you’ve assumed were Crows? Well, you’ve come to the right place to settle this misperception.
Crows, Rooks, and Jackdaws belong to the crow family Corvidae, which represents birds that resemble Crows. Some of these similarities are conical beaks, height, wingspan, and their iridescent feathers. Some examples include the Alpine Chough, the Eurasian Jackdaw, the Western Rook.
There are plenty of birds that look like American Crow, so don’t think you’re a terrible birdwatcher.
Let’s check out some of them that look similar to the American Crow and learn identifying crows.
You can also check out our detailed post on Birds That Look Similar To Cardinals.
What Does a Crow Look Like?
A crow is a medium-sized bird with black feathers and a long, pointed beak. Crows are found in many parts of the world and are known for their intelligence and resourcefulness. In North America, the most common invasive species of crow is the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos).
American crows are about 40 cm (16 inches) long and have a wingspan of about 90 cm (35 inches). They are slightly smaller than their European cousins, the common ravens. Common ravens can grow to be up to 70 cm (28 inches) long with a wingspan of up to 150 cm (59 inches).
Crows are generally black all over, but their feathers may have a blue or green sheen in certain lights. The American crow has a distinctive call that sounds like “caw caw.”
Crows are very intelligent birds and have been known to use tools, solve complex problems, and even remember human faces. They are also very social creatures and often live in large flocks.
Crows are considered to be omens of bad luck in many cultures, but they are also revered for their intelligence and resourcefulness. In some parts of the world, crows are even kept as pets! (Check out Crows Meaning & Symbolisms)
Birds That Represent Crows
American crows are medium-sized birds that belong to the genus Corvus. Ravens and Rooks are also part of the Corvus genus, and they are all part of the Corvidae family, which also has Magpies and Jays.
Crows have a unique, loud caw and distinct conical beak. They can reach 17.5-inches in height with a wingspan of 2.5 ft. Their pitch-black feathers have a purple and dark blue black iridescent.
Globally, there are approximately 40 species. There are three types of Crows in America alone and since they look similar to each other, people are able to differentiate them from the sound of their unique cries.
- American crow [Corvus brachyrhynchos]
- Northwestern crow [Corvus caurinus]
- Carrion crow [Corvus corone]
Often we get confused between ravens and crows, check out the post “Ravens vs Crows” to know how crows are different from ravens.
Birds That Look Like Crows But Are Not
There are birds from other species, like the Icteridae or the Sturnidae family, which look similar to American Crows. At the same time, there are other members of the Corvidae family and some other species that look like crows.
In general, they are very large and entirely black just like crows. They can be found across the Northern Hemisphere with common ravens living in areas such as California, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and Scotland. Common Ravens are corvids, and are very similar to crows, with few major differences.
Here’s a list of all the birds that look similar to crows but are not!
Alpine Choughs: Corvidae Family
Another member of the Corvidae family, the Alpine Chough, is also known as a Yellow-Billed Chough.
As the name suggests, these birds are found in western parts of China through the Alp regions and their breeding spots in the Spanish mountains.
Since these birds cover a lot of ground, getting an exact estimate of their population is challenging. However, research suggests that there are roughly 650 000 in Europe alone.
These birds can grow up to 16-inches in height and have a notable wingspan of 2.8-ft to get them through the mountain ranges.
Alpine Choughs also has a fan-shaped tail, and their coats are glossy and all black with small dots on their chest.
There are some notable differences between the two species. Crows are generally larger than alpine choughs, with a wingspan of up to four feet compared to the chough’s two-and-a-half-foot wingspan.
Additionally, crows tend to have flatter heads, while choughs have more rounded heads.
Finally, while both crows and choughs are found in mountainous regions, crows are also common in lowland areas whereas choughs are not.
There are several similarities between crows and alpine choughs. Both species are small to medium-sized birds with black plumage.
They both have strong, curved beaks well-suited for breaking open hard food items.
And they both are known for their intelligent behavior and resourcefulness.
The Eurasian Jackdaw: Corvidae family
These Passeriformes are also part of the Crow family corvidae, and like their Crow cousins, they enjoy cultivated lands and pastures.
There are approximately 31 million of these birds in Europe alone. Since being introduced in the United States during the 1980s, they’re growing at a reasonable rate.
The Eurasian Jackdaw, also known as the Western Jackdaws, is a bird found across Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.
Jackdaws can reach up to 14-inches in height and have a wingspan of around 2.4-feet long. These birds also have grey eyes, but the feet and beak are black like the American Crow. (Why are crows Black?)
These birds are black from head to toe, but they don’t have the same iridescence shimmer. Instead, it has a glossy appearance and is topped with silver-gray feathers covering its back and throat.
While there are many similarities between crows and jackdaws, there are also some differences. One major difference is their size.
Crows are larger than jackdaws, with a wingspan that can reach up to four feet. Additionally, crows are found all over the world, while western jackdaws are only found in western Europe and Asia.
Finally, crows are known for being aggressive, while jackdaws are generally considered to be more docile.
There are many similarities between the crow and the Eurasian jackdaw. Both are black in color with a strong beaks, and both are known for their intelligence.
In fact, crows and jackdaws are often considered to be two of the smartest bird species. One of the most notable similarities between these two bird species is their diet. Both crows and jackdaws are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.
This flexibility in their diet allows them to live in a variety of open habitats. Another similarity between crows and jackdaws is their social behavior. Both species are highly social, living in large groups known as flocks.
Within these flocks, crows and jackdaws will often form bonds with other members.
Finally, crows and jackdaws are both known for their intelligence. Studies have shown that both species are capable of using tools, solving problems, and remembering faces.
The Western Rook: Corvidae family
The Western Rook is one of the more intimidating-looking birds you’ll find on this list. Their plumage doesn’t have an iridescence tint. Instead, when the sun hits their back creates a lovely sheen of a combination of blue and purple.
These large Passerine birds can grow to reach 17-inches in length and have an impressive wingspan up to 2.5-ft. The other feature is identical to the American Crow, apart from its beak, white-gray, and slightly dips at the tip.
Rooks have been spotted in North America but are more commonly found from the Corvidae family, alongside Crows and Ravens.
Similarities & Differences
The crow and the western rook are two very similar birds. Both are black, have a curved beak, and are found in North America. However, there are some differences between the two species.
The crow is smaller than the western rook, with a wingspan of only about 2 feet. The western rook has a wingspan of up to 4 feet.
The Black Currawong: Artamidae family
They’re one of the only birds on this list that also has pitch-black legs and feet. These birds are considered the ‘Crow’ of the Australian region, and it’s easy to understand why.
Firstly, they’re native to the island state of Tasmania in Australia, and their plumage doesn’t have an purple iridescence quality. Their feathers look like dark charcoal with a slight purple tint.
One of the larger birds on the list, the Black Currawong, reaches up to 20-inches in length and has an impressing wingspan of 2.5-ft.
These large birds have intimidating yellow eye color and a big black bill that dips slightly at the tip. Their tales are tipped with white feathers, and they have a small patch of white by their wings.
The crow is generally smaller than the black currawong. The plumage of the crow is also thinner and not as lustrous as that of the black currawong.
The black currawong also has a longer beak and legs, and its tail is more deeply forked than that of the crow.
The call of the black currawong is deeper and more mellow than the harsh caw of the crow.
There are many similarities between the crow and the black currawong. Both birds are black, although the crow may have some white plumage on its belly.
Both birds have long, curved beaks, which they use to scavenge food. And both birds are known for their raucous calls.
One of the most striking similarities between the two birds is their habitat. Both the crow and the black currawong are found in wooded areas, often near water.
In Australia, they are both commonly found in suburban areas, where they scavenge for food. Another similarity between the crow and the black currawong is their diet.
The Common Grackle: Icteridae family
The Common Grackle is one of the closest resemblances of the American Crow on this list. These long-legged birds are corn farmers’ worst nightmare, for they love eating their crops.
These birds are native to North America and belong to the family Icteridae, particularly in the Rocky Mountains; their population steadily declines as it currently sits at 90 million in the United States.
They’re also one of the smallest birds on this list as they reach up to 13-inches tall and have a wingspan of 18-inches.
The female Grackle is lighter in brown heads while the male is black with an iridescence blue, green, and purple shimmer.
The Common Grackle has yellow eyes, which is a great way to identify which bird you’re seeing, especially since American Crows have powerful black eyes.
The Common Grackle and the Crow are both blackbirds, but there are some notable differences between the two.
The Common Grackle is much smaller than the Crow. The Common Grackle also has a shorter tail and a thinner bill.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference is that the Common Grackle has iridescent green and purple feathers, while the Crow’s feathers are all black.
The Common Grackle is found in North and Southern United States of America, while the Crow is found throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.
The two birds also have different calls – the Common Grackle has a harsh “caw-caw” sound, while the Crow has a softer “caw” sound.
The crow and the common grackle are both black birds that are found in North America. Both species are considered to be intelligent, and they are known to be able to solve complex problems.
Crows and grackles can also imitate the calls of other birds, and they are both considered to be good mimics.
Both birds are also known to be aggressive, and they will defend their territories against intruders.
Common Raven: Icteridae family
Some of you who see the word “Raven” instantly think of the Three-Eyed Raven from Game of Thrones. If you can recall how it looked, their appearance is similar to the American crow apart from the third eye. In fact, they are often confused with each other.
More prevalent in the western North America, in the regions of California and Mexico, Ravens have a wedge shape to their tale. In contrast, American Crows have a more fan silhouette.
The Common Raven and the American Crow are both pitch blackbirds from the family Corvidae.
The Common Crow is larger than the American Crow as it can reach 27-inches in height with a wingspan reaching up to 4-ft in length and a sharper beak.
The feathers create green and shades of blue sheen and purple hue. Apart from their body size differences, the Common Raven also has a different flight pattern to the Crow with a raspier and louder call.
The most noticeable difference between the two species is their size, with common ravens being significantly larger than American crows.
Another difference is that common ravens are known to eat carrion, while American crows mostly eat live food.
There are several similarities between a common raven and an American crow. Both birds are members of the genus Corvus, which contains over 40 species of crows and ravens.
They are both largely black, with some iridescent feathers, and they both have characteristic cawing calls.
The Red-Winged Blackbird: Icteridae family
The Red-Winged Blackbird is one of the smaller birds found on this list but similar to the American Crow. There are around 150 million across the US and Canada.
Like the American Crow, they’re found across the States. They breed along the Western coast, from Alaska all the way down to the coastal cliffs of Honduras. Compared to the American Crow, these birds have conical-shape bills, but they are smaller in size.
The male Red-winged Blackbird is a fellow Passerine bird with distinct red and yellow patch-like shoulder pads. They belong to the Icteridae family and can grow up to 9-inches in length with a wingspan up to 16-inches.
The females have a completely different color and aesthetic. Their brown and pale feathers create these streaks down their chest and are dark brown otherwise.
Similarities And Differences
The American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) are two species of passerine birds in the family Corvidae.
Both are all-black birds with long, stout bills. The American crow is a large bird, measuring 43 cm in length, while the red-winged blackbird is smaller, at 24 cm. American crows have slightly longer wings and tails than red-winged blackbirds.
Both species are found in North America, although the range of the American crow extends further north than that of the red-winged blackbird. American crows are found in forests, while red-winged blackbirds are found in marshes.
Both species are known to be intelligent, with the American crow being especially noted for its ability to solve complex problems. Both species are also known to be aggressive, although the red-winged blackbird is more likely to attack humans than the American crow.
The two species are similar in many ways, but there are also some significant differences between them.
Here is a comparison of the American crow and the red-winged blackbird:
Size: The American crow is larger than the red-winged blackbird, measuring 43 cm in length, while the red-winged blackbird is smaller, at 24 cm.
Wings and tail: American crows have slightly longer wings and tails than red-winged blackbirds.
Range: The American crow has a wider range than the red-winged blackbird, being found across North America, while the red-winged blackbird is found mainly in the United States and Canada.
Habitat: American crows are found in forests, while red-winged blackbirds are found in marshes.
Behavior: Both species are known to be intelligent, with the American crow being especially noted for its ability to solve complex problems. Both species are also known to be aggressive, although the red-winged blackbird is more likely to attack humans than the American crow.
Appearance: Both species are black with long, stout bills. However, the American crow has a more streamlined appearance, while the red-winged blackbird has a more stocky build.
So, while there are some similarities between the American crow and the red-winged blackbird, there are also some significant differences.
European Starlings: Sturnidae family
When Starlings fly in groups of hundreds and sometimes thousands in what appears to be a technically coordinated movement in the sky.
This phenomenon is called murmuration and continues to baffle scientists. No wonder Schieffelin wanted to bring them to the US.
Native to the west Britain and Ireland region, the European Starling was introduced to the North American region by Ornithologist Eugene Schieffelin in 1890. There are now over 200 million across the United States. They prefer open areas and are commonly seen in Florida and Texas.
The Starling can reach 9.8-inch in height with a wingspan of 16-inches and a shiny iridescent plumage producing purple and green color.
However, the Starling has a party trick. They change from this black bill and plumage in the summer to a brown coat with white spots; even their bills switch to a yellow.
The crow is a larger bird than the European starlings, and it has a more powerful beak. The crow also has a more aggressive nature and is known to attack other birds and animals.
The European starling is a more timid bird and is not known to be as aggressive.
Both of these birds are found in North America, but the crow is more common in the western part of the continent, while the European starling is more common in the eastern part.
The crow and the European starling are two very similar birds. Both are black with long, slender beaks. They are both highly intelligent and are known for their ability to imitate human speech.
The brown-headed cowbird is a small, blackbird-like bird that is a common sight across North America. The male has a shiny black body and head, with a brown patch on his neck.
The female is duller in colour, with a brownish tinge to her plumage. Both sexes have short tails and yellow eyes.
The brown-headed cowbird is a non-migratory bird, meaning it does not travel south for the winter. It can be found in woodlands, fields and near human habitation year-round.
The bird gets its name from its habit of following cattle and other mammals to eat the insects they stir up.
The brown-headed cowbird is considered a pest by many farmers and ranchers, as it is known to parasitize the nests of other birds.
The female lays her eggs in the nests of other species, and when the eggs hatch, the young cowbirds are often fed at the expense of the host bird’s chicks.
There are many similarities between American crows and brown-headed cowbirds. Both species are black, have long beaks, and are known to eat insects.
There are some key differences between the two species.
For example, American crows typically live in wooded areas, while brown-headed cowbirds prefer open grasslands.
Additionally, brown-headed cowbirds are often parasitic, laying their eggs in the nests of other bird species. American crows typically build their nests and raise their own young.
The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a large passerine Australian bird also found in New Guinea.
This crow-like bird is black with white wing patches and has a loud, distinctive call. It is a member of the genus Strepera, which also includes the butcherbirds and Australian magpie.
They are found in wooded habitats, often near water. It is a shy bird but will approach people if there is food on offer. The diet of this bird is varied and includes invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles and birds.
The pied currawong is a protected species in Australia, and its numbers are thought to be stable.
They are large birds, with a length of around 50 cm. The currawong feathers are black, with white wing patches. The bill is black, and the legs and feet are grey. The bird has a loud, distinctive call, which is often heard at night.
They are found in wooded habitats, often near water. In Australia, it is found in eastern and southern regions, from Queensland to Victoria. It is also found in New Guinea.
However, there are also some significant differences between the two species. The most obvious difference is their size; the pied currawong is about twice the size of the crow.
Another difference is their diet; the pied currawong eats mainly fruits and vegetables, while the crow feeds on a variety of foods including insects, small animals, and carrion.
Both are large birds with black plumage and yellow eyes. They are also both intelligent birds, capable of solving complex problems and using tools.
Crows and their following members of the Corvidae family share similar physical qualities. The Common Ravens are often misconceived by the American Crow due to their striking similarities and being the only pitch-black bird in the US.
Fine-tuning your ears will be able to distinguish the American Crow with their unique cry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do crows have yellow beaks?
Crows don’t have yellow beak, however, Alpine chough from Corvidae family, have Yellow beaks. They do have some physical appearance similarities but they are not crows.