Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

How to tell the difference between a crow and a raven

Look at tails, listen to their voices

Mr. Alice:

In the past, you’ve talked about how the big black birds we see in San Diego are ravens, not crows. Well, lately, I’ve had lots of big, noisy black birds in the trees around my house. My friend swears they’re crows, not ravens. Who do I believe? And, whatever they are, how can I get rid of them?

— Mena G., North Park

Okay. I give. In the past year; even Matthew Alice has noticed growing populations of crows cawing and flapping their way west. Time was when most San Diego crows stuck to their territories in the mountains, while the ravens had things under control on the western slopes. ‘But it’s the same old immigrant story. Population pressures, food supplies, jobs...things start getting hot in one place, and the hardy species will strike out for the frontiers, So no longer can it be said that the big black birds along the coast are more likely to be ravens; now they’re equally likely — maybe more likely, in some places — to be crows.

The two are pretty easy to tell apart. Crows are smaller, scrappier, and more active, with higher-pitched voices, and more likely to be in small flocks rather than in pairs or solo, as ravens are. More reliably, wait until you see them flying, then look at their back ends. If the trail’s edge of the tail is a straight line. it’s a crow. If it sticks out in a peak in the middle, it’s a raven. (Perched, however, they look pretty much alike.) They’re both scavengers and can live sumptuously on our discards. As for getting rid of crows, all I can do is quote a local farmer, “Ha-ha-hahahahaha!”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”
Next Article

The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”

Mr. Alice:

In the past, you’ve talked about how the big black birds we see in San Diego are ravens, not crows. Well, lately, I’ve had lots of big, noisy black birds in the trees around my house. My friend swears they’re crows, not ravens. Who do I believe? And, whatever they are, how can I get rid of them?

— Mena G., North Park

Okay. I give. In the past year; even Matthew Alice has noticed growing populations of crows cawing and flapping their way west. Time was when most San Diego crows stuck to their territories in the mountains, while the ravens had things under control on the western slopes. ‘But it’s the same old immigrant story. Population pressures, food supplies, jobs...things start getting hot in one place, and the hardy species will strike out for the frontiers, So no longer can it be said that the big black birds along the coast are more likely to be ravens; now they’re equally likely — maybe more likely, in some places — to be crows.

The two are pretty easy to tell apart. Crows are smaller, scrappier, and more active, with higher-pitched voices, and more likely to be in small flocks rather than in pairs or solo, as ravens are. More reliably, wait until you see them flying, then look at their back ends. If the trail’s edge of the tail is a straight line. it’s a crow. If it sticks out in a peak in the middle, it’s a raven. (Perched, however, they look pretty much alike.) They’re both scavengers and can live sumptuously on our discards. As for getting rid of crows, all I can do is quote a local farmer, “Ha-ha-hahahahaha!”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego Lotharios rejoice at news of mandatory 10 pm nightlife shutdown

Closed Doors = Closed Deals
Next Article

The Tobacconist: Stogie story

His job is to sell pleasure and desire, cigars “hand-rolled tenderly by beautiful women on their thighs.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close