It is always claimed that birds in the crow family have yellow beaks. This is probably down to a confusion involving the blackbird. They are not ravens or crows, but a kind of thrush.
Depending on the culture, Blackbird Spirit may be welcome as a good omen or the messenger of bad news. The dark wings of Blackbird give it associations with the Otherworld and the great Mysteries that haunt human souls; this also means it can fly as a messenger of death.
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.
Ravens have bigger, curvier beaks relative to crows. While both species have bristles at the base of the beak, the raven’s are noticeably longer. Its throat feathers are also quite shaggy. Common Ravens are much less common than American Crows in the Eastern United States.
Raven (Corvus corax)
They have thick necks with shaggy throat feathers and a thick, black bill.
Common blackbird is charcoal black and has an orange-yellow beak. The female, on the other hand, is brown, with light streaks on her chest and a dark beak. Common blackbirds are omnivorous and eat both worms and berries.
Distinctive Physical Traits. The crow is an all-rounder black-colored bird, from its eyes to its bills down to the feet. In Blackbirds, however, you are likely to find a distinctive slight tinge of color, sometimes on the wing bar, eyes, or even the beak.
Ravens differ from crows in appearance by their larger bill, tail shape, flight pattern and by their large size. Ravens are as big as Red-tailed Hawks, and crows are about the size of pigeons. The raven is all black, has a 3.5-4 ft wingspan and is around 24-27 inches from head to tail.
They are a gregarious bird and do not shy away easily around humans, although you are unlikely ever to see a Blackbird perch on your hand like the ever popular Robin.
They may not know how the food gets in the feeder. But they keep checking back. On the other hand, birds may see you put food in the feeder. Or they may have learned that after people go near the feeder, there may be a new supply of food.
Economic impacts. The Common Blackbird can be a pest in orchards, parks and gardens, being rather destructive of ground vegetation, particularly backyard vegetable patches.
It is good luck if a blackbird makes a nest on your house. If you see 5 crows, sickness will follow; see 6 crows and death will follow.
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.
The American Goldfinch is the state bird of Washington. It is common throughout the lowlands of Washington, often coming to bird feeders. The male in breeding plumage is bright yellow with a black forehead, wings, and tail.
Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they’ve been slightly stretched. They’re taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens.
The starling’s beak also undergoes some changes throughout the year. The nearer the breeding season, the more sex hormones the starling produces. This ensures that the beak goes from black in winter to yellow-white during mating time. This color change also helps distinguish males from females.
Adult males in spring and early summer are bright yellow with black forehead, black wings with white markings, and white patches both above and beneath the tail. Adult females are duller yellow beneath, olive above. Winter birds are drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars.
Evening Grosbeaks are about twice the size of a goldfinch, with a huge bill and large white wing patches rather than wingbars seen on American Goldfinches.
“To many, ravens symbolize death or bad fortune to come, but to others they symbolize rebirth and starting anew, serving as a positive sign,” says Dr. Kim. In Norse, Celtic, and Druid mythology, crows and ravens are widely viewed as beacons of intelligence.