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What Is The Difference Between A Rook, A Magpie, A Raven, And A Crow? (Answered)

What Is The Difference Between A Rook, A Magpie, A Raven, And A Crow? (Answered)

Crows are so prevalent and enjoy being around people and neighborhoods that provide them with food, it is difficult to have gone anywhere without seeing one.

Crows are among the most intelligent birds, and they belong to the corvid family. However, according to McGowan, common ravens may be better at solving complex problems.

At the base of their beaks, rooks have bald patches of skin. This European species like Corvus Cornix is not native to North America; in contrast, magpies are typically black and white.

The largest of these four corvid species, as large as a small hawk, ravens prefer to travel alone or in pairs rather than in large flocks, whereas crows have evolved to live close to and around humans.

Crows don’t truly pose much of a threat to people despite their size since they only really attack anyone who approaches their nests during the breeding season.

Keep reading to know more about corvids, and the species that belong to the family, along with the differences in characteristics and habitat.

What Are Corvids?

Besides crows, the corvid family of birds also consists of ravens, rooks, jays, jackdaws, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and choughs.

Corvids are the group of birds with the highest brain-to-body ratios, although those belonging to the genus Corvus are more likely to be extremely intelligent.

Crows, ravens, rooks, and jackdaws are members of this genus, which makes up around one-third of all corvid species. Many of these have a brain-to-body ratio that is more in line with an ape than a bird.

The crow family is a diversified collection of more than 120 bird species, and intelligence runs in this group. Crows and their relatives frequently get the wrong idea, as is the case with most geniuses.

Some standard corvid classification includes:

  1. Raven
  2. Hooded Crow
  3. Chough
  4. Magpie
  5. Rook
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Jay
Rooks are often hard to spot due to their liking for conversing and flying around with other birds.

A rook can be distinguished from the carrion crow by its bare, greyish-white face, narrower beak, and pointed skull.

Since rooks are very social creatures, you probably won’t see one by itself. In the winter, they gather in groups to feed and roost, frequently alongside jackdaws.

The species is migratory and has a sporadic distribution that extends from England to Iran and Manchuria. Large nesting colonies (called rookeries) of rooks are sometimes found in urban areas.

Some additional details on a rook:

  • Length: 44-46cm
  • Wingspan: 81-99cm
  • Weight: 280-340g
  • Population UK breeding: 1,100,000 pairs

What Is A Magpie?

The Corvidae or crow family includes medium to large, frequently colorful, and loud passerine birds known as magpies.

The terms “jay” and “magpie” are quite ambiguous and do not correctly describe the relationship in terms of evolution between these birds.

Since there are no other magpies in Europe outside Iberia, “Magpie” is frequently used as a synonym for the European Magpie.

Some fun facts about Magpies are as follows:

  • The tail of a magpie bird is identical to its length.
  • This bird lays six to nine brownish-green eggs each clutch.
  • Magpies weigh between 7 and 9 ounces and can grow up to 16 to 18 inches long.
  • They can be distinguished when flying thanks to a white feather speck on their wings.
Why is the magpie considered an intelligent bird?

What Is A Raven?

Although they belong to the same family Corvidae as crows, Corvus, ravens are a separate species.

The larger bill, different tail shape, distinctive flight pattern, and massive stature of ravens set them apart from crows in appearance.

Ravens are found commonly in old fairytale movies, where a raven tends to accompany a villain.

Crows are around the size of pigeons, whereas ravens are as large as Red-tailed Hawks. The raven is all black, has a wingspan of 3.5 to 4 feet, and measures 24 to 27 inches from head to tail.

Ravens have a fairly sophisticated internal thought process. Corvids are among the most intelligent birds on Earth, as biologists have long recognized.

What Is A Crow?

Crows are huge to medium-sized birds. Numerous species are all-black or all-grey, while others are pied, have more vibrant colors, or have intricate patterns.

They all have stout (or downward-curving) bills and powerful, scaly feet. The nostrils are typically covered by a little patch of bristly feathers. Some species’ northern populations are migratory or nomadic, while others are exclusively resident.

In the open, peanuts are a good attractant. Compost, trash, or pet food that the birds can eat attract crows.

There are numerous additional species in the world, but only eight breed in the UK. Let’s examine several related animals and their characteristics.

Types of CrowsDescriptionLengthWeight
Carrion crowOne of the smartest and most adaptable crow species is the all-black carrion crow. Although it can be frightened of humans, it is frequently fairly fearless.45-47cm370-650g
ChoughWhile the chough is classified as a crow due to its black plumage, it differs from other crows in that it has red legs and a bill.39-40cm260-350g
JackdawA characteristic silvery shine may be seen on the rear of this little, black crow’s skull. It’s also clear that the eyes are pallid.34 cm220g
JayEven though jays are the most colorful members of the crow family, they can be challenging to spot. They are timid woodland birds that hardly ever venture outside of protection.34-35cm140-190g
Different types of Crows can be found in the UK.

Difference Between A Rook, A Magpie, A Raven, And A Crow

The corvid family of birds, which includes the cunning, sociable, and mischievous crow, has long loomed large in human lives and imaginations as symbols of death and crop destroyers.

The majestic black raven is our largest passerine and the largest member of the crow family, with a Herculean wingspan of almost 5 feet. It is intelligent, inquisitive, and playful.

As much, a village sound as the thwack of leather on willow on a hot day is the soft sound of rooks cawing. The rook prefers to build a communal nest in a rookery, unlike ravens and carrion birds.

The magpie is very loud and arresting, standing out equally in urban and rural areas. Although they appear to be all black and white, they actually only have all-black heads because of their long tail and attractively iridescent dark-green wings.

The main distinctions between a raven and a crow are their size and weight, with ravens being much heavier and generally longer than crows.

The typical common raven weighs 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) and reaches around 63 centimeters (25 inches) in length.

Some Common Corvid Species


The smallest member of the corvid family, the jackdaw may be immediately identified by its grey head and, up close, its piercing, light-blue eyes.

They are to blame for many clogged chimneys since they enjoy making their nests in holes, trees, cliffs, and structures.

They are a raucous bunch who can frequently be heard cracking and keeping around towns and villages. Between 1970 and 2013, their number increased by 150%.


Jays are comparatively small in the family of Corvids and have a unique color.

The dandy jay distinguishes out from the rest of the crow family with a soft-pink back, bright-blue wing flashes, and an alluring undulating flight that shows a white rump and wing patches.

It is a specialist in woodlands and moves covertly while scream-warning off any intruders. It is frequently heard before being seen. Its striped crown transforms into a crest when startled.

Jays, like other members of the Crow family, store food especially acorns, which are their preferred snack.


  • The genus Corvus, which includes crows, ravens, magpies, and rooks, accounts for why they all have similar appearances. With the exception of South America, a few islands, and the poles, the genus Corvus contains roughly 45 species. They originated in Central Asia, from where they later spread.
  • Animals that are social and live in groups include crows, ravens, and rooks. Together, these birds assist one another in finding food, communicate by cawing, and even engage in spontaneous play.
  • Blackbirds in the Corvus genus include rooks (Corvus frugilegus). They distinguish themselves, nonetheless, by their light grey color and straight bill. Additionally, they have loose, oily, and feathery “trousers” on.
  • Greater in size than crows and rooks, ravens are huge, blackbirds. Rural areas frequently encounter these birds. They vary from other Corvus birds, besides being larger, by having a deep, grave call that sounds like a “cronk.”
  • Crows are a common species of blackbird. They frequently are observed scavenging for bugs or other food. Their neat black plumage, black bill, square-shaped tail, and high-pitched call—which is typically repeated three times in a row—distinguish them from other corvids.
  • The Eurasian Magpie is one of the smartest bird species in the world and one of the few non-primate species to recognize oneself in a mirror test. This medium-sized bird, which is also a corvid, has iridescent blue, white, and black plumage. The magpie is an attractive bird.

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