Crows are beautiful blackbirds with a loud, piercing “caw” and are noted for their cleverness and endurance. Crows are incredibly smart and can be excellent imitators. Several crows have learned more than 100 words and up to 50 whole sentences after being taught to count up to seven.

Photograph of Black Crow
Photograph of Black Crow | Image Credit – Tom Swinnen

They are also known for causing crop damage, although their contribution would be less than initially assumed. We can find crows everywhere on the planet, and they frequently reside close to humanity or in forested settings. The four distinct varieties of crows can be divided into four groups. Corvids (crows, ravens, rooks, and jackdaws) are the members of the Corvus genus, which includes crows, ravens, rooks, and jackdaws. Even though all of these species are primarily black, there have been some distinctions.

The American crow, fish crow, and northern crow are all crow family members. The most prevalent and widely-known crow species is the American crow. They dwell in various locations across the United States, primarily in residential neighborhoods. 

Crows in the United States typically build their nests in fir trees and scavenge for pests, seeds, mice, nuts, and carcasses in garbage dumps, grasslands, playgrounds, and yards. Their tails are small and square, and their beaks are upright. These crows are entirely black. The most extensively dispersed raven species is the common raven. Ravens are likewise totally black but larger and have puffier plumage around their throats and a more prominent beak than crows. 

Ravens can be found in various environments throughout the northern hemisphere, encompassing mountains, woodlands, coastlines, and meadows. Unlike the highly sociable American crows, they prefer to live alone or in pairs. Bugs, fish, eggs, newborn tortoises, and debris are all devoured by ravens.

Jackdaws are gregarious birds located in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Unlike crows and ravens, jackdaws have light eyes and gray plumage on their head, throat, and torso. Their bodies are entirely coated in black feathers. They also have smaller beaks and are shorter in appearance. Jackdaws graze on grains, beetles, snails, spiders, and trash in forests, meadows, and parkland.

Europe, and Asia, are home to rooks. Although they are predominantly black, they have light, gray covering over their beaks, distinguishing them from crows, ravens, and jackdaws. Their leg plumage is also curled, unlike those of other crow species. Rooks feed on larvae, flies, seeds, small birds, and carcasses in vast pastures and on the borders of housing neighborhoods. Rooks are gregarious birds who fly in huge flocks, including jackdaws.

More than 40 species of crows come under the four types mentioned above of crow groups. Below you will come across a few commonly found crow species around the globe.

KingdomAnimalia 
SubkingdomBilateria 
InfrakingdomDeuterostomia
PhylumChordata 
SubphylumVertebrata 
InfraphylumGnathostomata 
ClassAves 
SuperclassTetrapoda 
OrderPasseriformes 
FamilyCorvidae Genus
Corvus SpeciesMore than 40

Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

The all-black carrion crow is among the most intelligent and adaptive birds. It is usually courageous, yet it is frightened of humans. They are solitary birds, frequently located alone or in sets of two, although they might establish flocks in certain situations. 

Carrion crows will flock to fields for nourishment, and while they may be wary at first, they immediately know when it is appropriate and safe. They will continue to reap the benefits of whatever is available. Carrion crows can be located practically anywhere, from city centers to highland moors and forests to the beach.

Common Raven

Common Raven
Common Raven | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

The common raven can be spotted all over the northern hemisphere and is the giant raven. This highly scattered species is the second largest of all crows. The common raven is adaptive and diverse, relying on its omnivorous dietary patterns to locate suitable sustenance from various sources. 

They have flourished and coexisted with people for so long that they are regarded as a nuisance in some regions and adored as gods in many others. One interesting fact- the common raven pairs for life after they locate a partner. They have been seen tumbling down piles of snow for amusement and breaking off branches to play actively, rendering them the only animals in the animal world to do so.

Brown-headed Crow

Brown-headed Crow
Brown-headed Crow | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Indonesia is home to the brown-headed crow. Most of its body is covered with gleaming black plumage, although the head and throat are typically deep browns. In addition, the beak is quite broad. Fruits abundant in treetops are a favorite meal for these crows. Virgin woods and mangroves are the favorite regions of the brown-headed crow. While the brown-headed crow may live in open areas, it prefers to avoid intrusion. 

Like many other species, human influence poses a threat to the population, with habitat destruction from logging, mining, and agriculture contributing to a significant population drop. They are classified as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Collared Crow

Collared Crow
Collared Crow | Image Credit – Flickr

The collared crow, also described as the white-collared crow or the ring-necked crow, is a species of crow that is endemic to China and northern Vietnam. The white feather band around the throat is larger than the white-necked raven’s collar, and there are also white bands on the upper back and chest. 

The crow’s territory is mainly within China’s confines. However, it does not extend far beyond the north than Beijing. Notwithstanding its former abundance, the collared crow has been reclassified twice on the IUCN red list, with the most recent upgrading being a vulnerable conservation category in 2018. The overall crow population is estimated to be between 2,500 and 10,000.

Forest Raven

Forest Raven
Forest Raven | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

This giant crow, often known as the Tasmanian raven, is endemic to Tasmania and other places in southern Victoria, Australia. Australia’s most prominent Corvus species, with a wingspan ranging from 36 to 44 inches. 

Although the forest raven’s glossy black coat is comparable to that of other crow species, it has relatively broad wings that could almost stretch back to its tail when at repose. Its croak is harsher and gravelly than many other crow species, although it may also bark loudly as a warning. The forest raven is an omnivore who frequently feeds on carcasses. Despite its widespread distribution, the forest raven is not considered a hazard to farming, and shooting prohibitions are not in place. 

Different species of crows

The following table illustrates the different species of crows and where they might be spotted.

Common NameScientific NameLocation
Common RavenCorvus coraxAcross the northern hemisphere
Pied RavenCorvus corax varius morpha leucophaeusPreviously found on the Faroe Islands but considered extinct since the mid-20th Century.
American CrowCorvus brachyrhynchosAll across America, southern Canada, and Northern Mexico
Chihuahuan RavenCorvus cryptoleucusEastern U.S. coast
Fish CrowCorvus ossifragusEastern and Southeastern American states through Florida,  Oklahoma, and Texas
Northwestern Crow Corvus caurinusFrom the Olympic Peninsula to Southwest Alaska
Tamaulipas CrowCorvus imparatusGulf of Mexico coast, east to Rio Grande delta, south to Tampico, Tamaulipas
Sinaloan Crow Corvus sinaloaePacific coast from Sonora to Colima
Jamaican CrowCorvus jamaicensisJamaica
White-necked Crow Corvus leucognaphalusHaiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
Palm CrowCorvus palmarumCuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic
Cuban Crow Corvus nasicusThe Grand Caicos Island, Cuba and Isla de la Juventud
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollisNorth Africa, Kenya, the Arabian peninsula, the Middle East, and southern Iran
Fan-tailed Raven Corvus rhipidurusThe Middle East east, North Africa, the southern Sahara, Sudan, and Kenya
Western JackdawCorvus monedulaThe British Isles, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Northern Asia, and Northern Africa
RookCorvus frugilegusEurope, Asia, and New Zealand
Hooded Crow Corvus  cornixNorthern and Western Europe through Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Northwestern Scotland, and Northern Ireland
Mesopotamian Crow Corvus [corone] capellanusSouthern Iraq to extreme Southwest Iran
Carrion Crow Corvus coroneWestern Europe from the British Isles to Germany, and in Eastern Asia
Cape CrowCorvus capensisEastern and Southern Africa
Pied CrowCorvus albusCentral African coasts to southern
Somali CrowCorvus edithaeNortheast Africa
Thick-billed RavenCorvus crassirostrisEritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia
White-necked RavenCorvus albicollisEastern and Southern Africa
Australian RavenCorvus coronoidesEastern, southern Australia, and southern Western Australia
Forest RavenCorvus tasmanicusTasmania and south-eastern Australia
Little Crow Corvus bennettiWestern and central Australia
Little RavenCorvus melloriVictoria, and New South Wales
Torresian CrowCorvus orruAustralia, New Guinea, and nearby islands
New Caledonian Crow Corvus moneduloidesNew Caledonia and on the Loyalty Islands
Long-billed Crow Corvus validusNorthern Moluccas
White-billed Crow Corvus woodfordiThe Solomon Islands,  islands of Choiseul, Isabel, and Guadalcanal
Bougainville Crow Corvus meekiNorthern Solomon Islands
Brown-headed Crow Corvus fuscicapillusNew Guinea
Grey CrowCorvus tristisNew Guinea and neighboring islands
Chatham Islands RavenCorvus moriorumNew Zealand
New Zealand RavenCorvus antipodumNew Zealand
Mariana Crow Corvus kubaryiGuam and Rota
Hawaiian Crow Corvus hawaiiensisHawaiian Islands
Slender-billed CrowCorvus encaMalaysia, Borneo, Indonesia
Piping CrowCorvus typicusSulawesi, Muna, Butung
Banggai Crow Corvus unicolorBanggai Island 
Flores CrowCorvus florensisFlores Island
Collared Crow Corvus torquatusEastern China, south into Vietnam
Daurian Jackdaw Corvus dauuricusEastern Europe, Japan, and Scandinavia
House CrowCorvus splendensThe Middle East, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent,
Large-billed CrowCorvus macrorhynchosEastern Asia, the Himalayas, and the Philippines

To Wrap Up

Now that we know what crow species can be spotted in our region, be sure to observe them carefully and identify their name. After all, crow-watching is also a good time-pass, right?

(Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on a variety of topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. She likes traveling and spending time with nature. She is a very people-person who loves talking about climate change and alerting people to go green!