Though a crow is a black bird, it’s not a blackbird. Nor is a blackbird a crow. Both are members of the order Passeriformes, but of different families. The crow is Corvus brachyrynchos, of the family Corvidae and the blackbird is of the family Icteridae.
Crow look-alike birds are common ravens, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, western jackdaws, pied currawongs, western rooks, black-billed magpies, alpine choughs, European starlings, and more.
Small Black Birds
|Small Black Birds||Wingspan||Weight|
|Bronzed Cowbird||13.0 in||2-2.4 oz|
|Tricolored Blackbird||10.2-13.0 in||1.4-2.6 oz|
|Shiny Cowbird||11 in||1.9-2.3 oz|
|Black Phoebe||10.5-11 in||0.5-0.8 oz|
Ravens are one of the most distinctive birds in North America. 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.
A large, long-legged, thick-necked bird with a heavy, straight bill. In flight, the wings are fairly broad and rounded with the wingtip feathers spread like fingers. The short tail is rounded or squared off at the end.
Crows and ravens are large black birds found throughout North America, and they can be hard to tell apart. The best clue for identification is usually the voice, but the species differ in some other subtle ways, too.
Measurements. Males are glossy black all over with a staring yellow eye and a blue sheen on the head grading to greenish iridescence on the body. Females are plainer brown, darkest on the wings and tail, with a dark eye. Immature birds look like washed out, lighter-brown versions of the females.
The blackbirds congregate for food and protection. While some birds migrate alone, blackbirds find strength in numbers. They cooperate to find food — whether in a field, backyard or parking lot — and keep an eye out for predators.
Crows appear to alert you to the presence of spiritual shifts taking place around you and to remind you to pay close attention to the spiritual signs that are being conveyed to guide you in the right direction. They are symbols of change, phases, telepathic powers, and the ability to see into the realms of the unseen.
While there are many different species of black birds, we will focus on the most common ones, the American Crow, Common Raven, European Starling, Common Grackle, and Brown-headed Cowbird.
Blackbird Symbolism and Meaning
The spirit of the Blackbird may either be a welcoming sign or one which brings bad news. These dark birds signify mystery and magic, and are thought to represent the Otherworlds (Borrington).
The raven is all black, has a 3.5-4 ft wingspan and is around 24-27 inches from head to tail. The crow is also black, has a 2.5 ft wingspan and is about 17 inches long. The raven weighs around 40 oz while the crow is 20 oz - half the weight of a raven.
Crows are smaller than ravens and have a smaller bill. Both ravens and crows are entirely black, including their feet and beaks. Crows tend to be more aggressive and will even chase away larger birds including hawks, owls, and herons.
The raven’s lustrous feathers also have a blue or purplish iridescence. The common raven (C. corax) is the largest of the perching birds: it reaches a length of up to 66 cm (26 inches) and has a wingspan of more than 1.3 metres (4 feet).
This spirit animal comes to you when you need guidance or reassurance on your path in life. People often associate ravens with bad omens or darker energy, but they also symbolize other, more positive things as well. Seeing ravens often signifies that you have a strong, mysterious energy force in your life.
Black crows symbolize prophecy, transformation, change, and freedom. Black crows have quite strong symbolic and spiritual meanings attached to them from all sorts of different places, religions, and cultures. You can find them in many folk tales, movies, religious texts, and more.
Crows do eat squirrels but they don’t attack healthy adults. They’re opportunistic hunters and will rely on scavenging for already dead squirrels or picking easier targets. If a crow does attack a squirrel, it’s likely to be a young, defenseless target.
The main predators and enemies of crows include hawks, raccoons, eagles, owls, squirrels and humans.
Crows most often have an even caw, caw sound, while ravens have a deeper, throatier, croaking call. If you’re able to observe a bird up close, you’ll see that ravens have fluffier feathers around their head and especially at their throat. They also have thicker beaks than crows, with more of a curve to the end.
In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo, the God of prophecy. They are said to be a symbol of bad luck, and were the gods’ messengers in the mortal world.
You probably know that ravens are larger, the size of a Red-tailed Hawk. Ravens often travel in pairs, while crows are seen in larger groups. Also, watch the bird’s tail as it flies overhead. The crow’s tail feathers are basically the same length, so when the bird spreads its tail, it opens like a fan.
Crows gather around your house because there might be a good source of food available for them. They might even find tall trees to roost, a reliable water source to bathe, or a dead crow in the backyard of your house.
Use noise makers such as air horns or whistles to frighten blackbirds away. Time the use of noise makers when birds are beginning to enter the area. Repeated use may be necessary to discourage blackbirds from the yard.
They will tend to roost in large flocks in dense foliage in trees and shrubs, or find a cavity in a building, a hole in a tree or a nest box to sleep in.