Crow vs Blackbird – All Differences Explained


Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a crow and a blackbird? 

Some people might look at a flock of blackbirds or black crows and think that they are all blackbirds or black crows; however, they may not be.

So how does someone know what the differences are between a blackbird and a black crow? There are several differences between them, and once you know what they are, you’ll find it’s easy to determine the differences between a blackbird and a crow.

8 Ways to Tell Crows and Blackbirds Apart 

1. Location

2. Habitat

3. Tail Feathers

4. The Beak

5. The Songs They Sing

6. Nests

7. Intelligence

8. Eating Habits

Where do Crows and Blackbirds live? 

A Crow can be found almost anywhere. Their territory stretches from Africa to northern Europe and Scandinavia. From the Arctic to as far south as Nicaragua, they live throughout North America. However, they do not inhabit an area that is west of the Rockies. Different species of Blackbirds have a variety of ranges. Except for Iceland, you can find the common Blackbird throughout Europe. There are as many species of Blackbird in North America as there are ranges. The red-winged Blackbird breeds throughout Canada and Alaska. During non-breeding seasons, it is found throughout the US, down to Mexico. 

What type of habitat do they both like?

 Another great way to tell the difference between the Blackbird and the Crow is to look at their habitats. The Blackbird and Crow both thrive in open areas with some trees, adapting well to people. Often found congregating in fields, Crows are particularly fond of corn. However, your backyard bird feeder is more likely to attract Blackbirds than Crows.

Shake your tail feathers

At first glance, their tail feathers may look similar; however, they are very different. For example, the Crow’s tail feathers are straight, while Blackbird’s is much more tapered. Depending on the situation and the angle you are looking at, you may not see their tail feathers, but you can also tell just by looking at the bird. In addition, blackbirds are slightly larger than Crows. 

Are their beaks the same? 

One straightforward way to determine the difference between a Crow and the Blackbird is to look at the shape of their beak. You can easily observe the distinctive shape of the Crow’s beak, with a slight arch and then around to the top of the beak. Also, unlike a Blackbird, the slope of a Crow’s beak towards the tip is gentle, but the rest of the beak is straight. 

Crows’ top bills usually overshoot their lower bills, making the beak an effective tool. However, there is no similarity in the beak shape between Blackbird species, nor between a Crow’s and a Blackbird’s. 


Different species of Blackbirds have different lengths. However, they are all thin and pointed. They are all well designed for eating bugs, which is one of the Blackbird’s favorite foods. Although called the Blackbird, not every part of the Blackbird is black. For example, the beak of the UK Blackbird is bright yellow. On the other hand, the Crow’s beak is always black.


The Songs They Sing 

Both Blackbirds and Crows can be noisy birds. However, that is good for making a quick identification because they sound very different. Unlike other bird sounds, the crows’ “CAW” sound is very distinctive. It is much more of a sound and not so much of a “song.” However, Blackbirds’ sound is much more melodic than that of a Crow. 

Which bird (Crow or Blackbird) makes the better pad? 

The type of nest that Crows and Blackbirds build is also different. To provide safety and security for their young, Blackbirds often nest in large colonies. 

Usually, they build nests made out of grass and twigs that are small and cupped so that the young birds do not fall out of the nest. Nests may be found on tree branches or near ground level, depending on the species of Blackbird. However, a Crow’s nest is very different than that of a Blackbird. Their nests are usually much larger. They can be as much as 2 feet in width and are generally made of sticks and twigs, so they tend not to be as soft as that of the typical Blackbird.

Are Crows or Blackbirds smarter than the average bird?

 Another difference between Crows and Blackbirds is that Crows are much smarter. I’m certain that you’ve heard the term “Bird Brain”; however, that may not be an insult if the bird is a Crow. As it turns out, Crows are quite smart. 

For example, Crows are the only non-primate species that have been observed using objects as tools. Crows have been observed using small sticks and other pointed objects as spears and for other purposes. Additionally, they have been observed exhibiting other types of “problem-solving” behaviors. For example, when a Crow dies, the other Crows tend to gather around the deceased Crow. Perhaps it is some sort of funeral for their fallen friend, but perhaps it is also a gathering that the Crows use to figure out why the Crow died and how the other Crows may avoid a similar fate.

Do Blackbirds prefer to dine out?

Blackbirds are fine with eating out of a bird feeder; however, because they are fairly good size birds (up to 11″ in length), they may have a relatively difficult time negotiating the slender ledges of most bird feeders. Hence, Blackbirds prefer to wander around at ground level for any bugs, insects, and seeds. 

Several species of Blackbirds do not have any problem with wading into the water to find small insects and organisms because they live in wetland-type habitats. They choose the wetland habitat because of the large variety of food sources. Crows, however, are not going to be found anywhere near water because they tend to prefer to inhabit urban areas, crop fields, and open spaces. 

Most of them are found in groups (called “murders”) or in pairs. Though they are renowned for being quite intelligent and friendly, they tend to aggressively attack owls and other birds of prey to protect themselves and other group members.

Though Blackbirds and Crows appear to be quite similar, you’ve probably come to understand from the information above that they are, in fact, quite different. Although they are from the same Order of birds, they are from different families. They differ in size and shape, and they make sounds that are very different from each other. So with all of the information presented, the next time you see a field full of “blackbirds,” you’ll know which ones are Crows and which are Blackbirds. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are Crows and Blackbirds the same? 

Answer: No. Though they are both blackbirds, they are each from two different families of birds.

Question: Which one is the larger of the two?

Answer: The Blackbird is the larger of the two. The typical crow is approximately 7.5 inches in length, but the Blackbird can be 11.5 inches in length.

Question: Do Crows and Blackbirds both line in the same type of habitats?

Answer: No. Crows prefer to live in large open areas such as crop fields, parks, and urban areas, but Blackbirds are adaptable in many different settings from urban to wetlands.

Question: Do Crows and Blackbirds like the same type of foods?

Answer: They both have a similar diet. Crows are omnivores. They primarily feed on small insects, nuts, fruits, mollusks, seeds, weeds, frogs, eggs, mice, earthworms. Blackbirds prefer insects, grains, and seeds.

Question: Are all Blackbirds always black?

Answer: No. There are many varieties of Blackbirds – for example, the red-winged Blackbird or the yellow-beaked Blackbird.

Question: Are Crows or Blackbords aggressive towards people?

Answer: Crows are not generally aggressive towards humans, but Blackbirds are more aggressive towards people than Crows.

Question: What areas of the world do Crows and Blackbirds inhabit?

Answer: Crows and Blackbirds live primarily in Europe, North America, Central America

Question: Do Crows and Blackbirds sleep together in large groups?

Answer: Yes. At various times during the year, both Crows and Blackbirds sleep in congregations of birds called roosts.

Question: How long do Crows and Blackbirds mate?

Answer: It seems that Crows are very “family-oriented” because they tend to mate for life. Blackbirds, on the other hand, 

Question: How many different types of Blackbirds are there?

Answer: There are 20 different types of Blackbirds

Question: Which is more intelligent, Blackbirds or Crows?

Answer: The Crow is more intelligent than the Blackbird and is generally considered to be the most intelligent of all birds

Question: What other blackbirds look similar to Crows and Blackbirds?

Answer: Other than the American Crow and the several Blackbirds, the Common Raven, European Starling, Common Grackle, and Brown-headed Cowbird are all blackbirds and look quite similar to each other.