They’re found above a snowy pass, playing on the wind. They’re seen soaring high in red rock canyons. High elevation mountain-top, low elevation desert, winter, summer – it doesn’t matter when or where, I think ravens rule as the most common bird in the backcountry. Even non-birders can spot a raven. These big, black birds are unmistakeable – unless it’s not a raven but its cousin, the crow.
How to Tell a Raven from a Crow:
- size – ravens are larger
- bill – ravens have bigger and thicker bills; crow bills curve downwards.
- tail – crow tails are slightly rounded; raven tails are slightly pointed
- flight – crows flap steadily in flight; ravens often soar
Common Members of the Crow (Corvidae) Family:
Did You Know?
Members of the crow family are thought to be among the most intelligent of all bird brains.
Mind of the Raven, by Bernd Heinrich. A scientific study.
Raven’s End, by Ben Gadd. A tall tale etched with truth.