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Identifying Crow Species With Eschenbach Binoculars

Here, Eschenbach help you to tell the difference between 5 similar looking corvids.

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Photographers’ tips to identify crows

Beginners in bird photography may not know that there are more than 10 species of crow. Because of their mostly black feathers, it is tough to distinguish one from another. But there are certain characteristics that make every species unique. We will focus here on 5 species, which, because of their similar plumage, are difficult to distinguish.



The Carrion Crow

Scientific name: Corvus corone

Size: 50 centimetres

Features: Black feathers with metallic shininess (especially in sunlight); strong beak with bristle-like feathering on the upper beak base; wide and relatively short wings

Call: persistent “cra-cra-cra” or arr-arr-arr”, also during flight

Habits/particularities: generally a single breeder, however often gather in large groups; often on dumping grounds

Carrion crow


The Hooded Crow

Scientific name: Corvus cornix

Size: About 50 centimetres, similar to the Carion crow

Features: Black head, chest, wings and tail; the rest of the body is of a light grey

Call: Very similar to the one of Carion crow

Habits/particularities: Also a single breeder; gather with other Crows species in winter

Hooded Crow


The Rook

Scientific name: Corvus frugilegus

Size: Smaller and slighter than the Carion crow

Features: Black plumage with violet shininess; the base of the beak is grey-white and unfeathered; abdomen’s feathers are coarse

Call: Deep “goah”

Habits/particularities: Great acrobats in flight

Eschenbach Rook


The Western Jackdaw

Scientific name: Corvus monedula

Size: Significantly smaller than the other species, approximately pigeon-sized

Features: Black plumage with a grey-white neck; short beak; grey-white iris

Call: Bright “kja” or “kjack”

Habits/particularities: Social bird; bounces and jogs across the ground; often breeds in churches’ towers, castles and ruins

Western Jackdaw


The Common Raven

Scientific name: Corvus corax

Size: Over 60 centimetres

Features: Very large and impressive; black plumage; strong beak; wedge-shaped tail; coarse abdomen feathers

Call: High and deep calls like “rrogg” or “groorrk”

Habits/particularities: Enduring, good flier, often sleeps in large groups

common raven


One thing is certain: the Corvidaes are some of the most intelligent birds. It doesn't come as a surprise that they have discovered the advantages of breeding in cities and villages a long time ago. The multiple hiding places and the abundant food supplies allow these fellows to live among us: that makes observation even easier!

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