CORVIDAE of North America

The Corvidae family contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs and nutcrackers. They are considered the most intelligent of the birds. They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Most species have bristle-like feathers covering their nostrils. They are omnivores having a varied diet. Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps.

Crows, Ravens, Rooks

Order Passeriformes    Family Corvidae



Genus Corvus

The genus Corvus consists of large birds that are are either black all over, or mainly black with white or gray patches. They range in size from the relatively small Jackdaws to the very large Common Raven. The 40 or so members of this genus occur on all continents except South America and Antarctica.

Crow, American Corvus brachyrhynchos   Found: North America
Similar to: Fish Crow. Vocal differentiation is usually the best means of identification. The America Crow does the familiar "caw caw" that we associate with crows while the Fish Crow is more nasal. Visual differentiaion between the two specie is improbable unless there are close enough to allow comparison. In this case note Fish Crows tend to have more slender bills and feet. There may also be a small sharp hook at the end of the upper bill. Fish crows also appear as if they have shorter legs when walking.
Similar to: Northwestern Crow. Northwestern Crow is smaller than American Crow and often has a messier appearance. However, the species can be very difficult to distinguish by appearance. Northwest Crow has a more nasal call.
Image by: 1) Jrockley  2, 4, 9) Dick - North Carolina  3) Dick - Maine   5) Ingrid Taylor - Washington   6) Mdf - Ontario  7) Dick - San Diego  8 Dick - New Hampshire


Crow, Fish Corvus ossifragus   Found: east and south North America
The Fish Crow is usually found close to water.
Similar to: American Crow. Vocal differentiation is usually the best means of identification. The America Crow does the familiar "caw caw" that we associate with crows while the Fish Crow is more nasal. Visual differentiaion between the two specie is improbable unless there are close enough to allow comparison. In this case note Fish Crows tend to have more slender bills and feet. There may also be a small sharp hook at the end of the upper bill. Fish crows also appear as if they have shorter legs when walking.
Similar to: Northwestern Crow. Their ranges do not overlap, but both species prefer to be near water and like fish / mollusks.
Image by: 1) Steve Nova  2) Phil Brown - Lawrence, Massachusetts 3) e monk - North Carolina   4) Diane Hamilton - New Jersey  5) Dick Daniels - North Carolina


Crow, Northwestern  Corvus caurinus  Found: Pacific coastal area from Washington to Alaska
The Northwestern Crow is usually found close to water.
Similar to: American Crow. If found in Alaska, then it is a Northwestern Crow. Northwestern Crow is smaller than American Crow and often has a messier appearance. However, the species can be very difficult to distinguish by appearance. Northwest Crow has a more nasal call.
Similar to: Fish Crow. Their ranges do not overlap, but both species prefer to be near water and like fish / mollusks.
Image by: 1) Steve Nova  2) Alan D Wilson  3) Elaine R Wilson - near Victoria, British Columbia   4) Dick Daniels - Seward, Alaska  5, 6, 7) Dick - Homer, Alaska  



Crow, Sinaloa  Corvus sinaloae  Found: Mexico
The Sinaloa Crow has glossy purple-black plumage with black bill, legs; pale throat.
Similar to: Tamaulipas Crow. The Sinaloa Crow has pale throat; Tamaulipas Crow has black throat.
Image by: 1) Steve Nova  2) Dominic Sherony


Crow, Tamaulipas  Corvus imparatus  Found: North America (Texas), northern Mexico
The Tamaulipas Crow has glossy dark, bluish plumage, which appears soft and silky. The bill is quite slender and black, as are the legs and feet.
Similar to: Sinaloa Crow. The Sinaloa Crow has pale throat; Tamaulipas Crow has black throat.
Image by: 1, 2) Steve nova  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Texas


Jackdaw also Eurasian Jackdaw also Western Jackdaw  Corvus monedula   Found: northeast North America (vagrant), Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Jackdaw has black on center of head; black throat, wings; gray nape, back, underparts; light gray eyes
Image by: 1) Sergey Yeliseev - Moscow region  2) Charlie Westerinen   3) Placid Casual  4) Maxwell Hamilton - England   5) Dick Daniels - Scotland   6) Lip Kee - Italy  7)  Olivier Klein - Netherlands 
1) Juvenile




RAVENS
A raven is one of several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus. Most have black plumage and large beaks but their plumage can differ slightly in some species. Most species have dark brown irises but a few in Australia have white irises.

Raven, Chihuahuan  Corvus cryptoleucus  Found: The Southwest USA, Mexica
Similar to: Common Raven. The Chihuahuan Raven is considerably smaller than the Common Raven, has longer bristles along the upper bill, and has a shorter bill.
Image by: 1) Steve Nova  2, 3) Quinn Dombrowski - Arizona  4) Jerry Oldenettel - Arizona


Raven, CommonCorvus corax   Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa
Apart from its greater size, the Common Raven differs from its cousins, the crows, by having a larger and heavier, black beak, shaggy feathers around the throat and above the beak, and a wedge-shaped tail.
Similar to: Chihuahuan Raven. The Chihuahuan Raven is considerably smaller than the Common Raven, has longer bristles along the upper bill, and has a shorter bill.
Image by: 1) Hogroth  2) Dick Daniels - Arizona   3, 4, 45) Dick - Wyoming   6) Dick - Napel   7) Dick - California  






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