Are Ravens Smarter Than Crows?

Published Categorized as Birds, Birdwatching
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Birds are more intelligent than you may think. Two extremely intelligent birds are crows and ravens due to their complex calls and understanding of tasks. However, are crows smarter than ravens, or are ravens smarter than crows?

Although both birds are very intelligent, ravens are smarter than crows.

When it comes to intelligence, ravens have an advantage over crows because they can solve plenty of problems and use their smarts to remember specific people. Crows are very intelligent as well, but not on the same level as ravens.

The rest of this article will cover why ravens are smart, why crows are smart, why ravens are smarter than crows, and more.

Why Are Ravens Smart?

Ravens are clever birds. But did you know that ravens are also one of the smartest birds in the world?

Ravens have shown how intelligent they are through various tests scientists have run. For example, ravens can remember how people treated them.

If you treat a raven well, that raven will remember you and how you treated them, showing off their intelligence. However, that’s not the only reason why ravens are intelligent.

They can also solve problems such as putting blocks through shapes that match said blocks.

“Raven’s smartness is comparable to that of chimpanzee’s or even dolphin’s.”


Moving blocks and remembering treatment is only scratching the surface of what a raven can do.

A raven can also identify individual human faces regardless of treatment. The most fascinating part about ravens is how they have the intelligence to care for their dead.

Ravens have been spotted holding funerals for fallen ravens, showing off how smart they are since they understand the concept of death.

Lastly, ravens can also plan ahead. They can memorize the human environment and navigate through it smoothly. For example, they can use objects like trash cans to identify where they are and move based on that.

Related Read: Can You Find Ravens In Florida?

Why Are Crows Smart?

Like ravens, crows are some of the smartest birds on the planet. Although they don’t test as high as ravens on an intelligence scale, they’re still very clever and understand more than you think. There’s also some misconception about crows.

For starters, they don’t like shiny things. There are other birds that like shiny objects, sure, but crows aren’t one of them.

Their intelligence doesn’t stem from recognizing shiny objects, rather from recognizing individual faces.

Ravens and crows are similar in the sense that they can memorize the face of a human. If you were to spend some time with a crow, then come back at a later date, they’d remember you based on your face and voice.

Crows are also capable of using human tools. If you’re ever out birdwatching and spot a crow, make sure all your tools are in your reach so the crow isn’t tempted to come down and snatch it.

Although crows aren’t the smartest birds in the world, they still have the intelligence of about a seven-year-old human child.

They can reason and solve problems, but they aren’t as intelligent as a human teenager.

Why Are Ravens Smarter Than Crows?

Ravens and crows are both intelligent, there’s no denying that; however, ravens are slightly more intelligent. Along with that, they have more abilities than the average crow. They have seven different calls and can even imitate the calls of other birds.

While crows rival apes in terms of smartness, ravens are on-par with them, making ravens smarter than crows by default.

Another intriguing thing ravens can do is stunt flying. Ravens can do stunts while in the air, and they do this to attract mates.

These stunts aren’t just any stunts, either. Ravens can do somersaults, barrel rolls, and even upside-down flying.

Crows have similar abilities, just not in the same capacity that ravens do. Both birds are extremely intelligent, but ravens have the advantage due to their enhanced abilities.

How To Tell A Raven And Crow Apart?

While birdwatching, it can be difficult to spot the difference between birds. Especially birds like crows and ravens, which seem identical upon first glance.

The best way to tell them apart is by looking at their size. Crows are about the size of pigeons while ravens are significantly larger.

You can compare the height of a raven to the height of a red-tailed hawk. They’re much larger than crows and have a curvier beak.

Another way you can tell them apart is by looking at their bodies. Beyond the height difference, they have small differences in their bristles.

Ravens are less common than crows, so finding one will be difficult. When you do find them, you’ll see that a raven has larger bristles than a crow. They’re also more shaggy. For example, if you see a large black bird with shaggy feathers on its throat, it might be a raven.

Other Intelligent Bird Types

Ravens and crows aren’t the only two incredibly intelligent birds in the world.

Arguably the most intelligent bird in the world is from New Zealand. Consistently ranking in top ten lists over the world, the kea bird is one of the most intelligent birds out there.

Keas are like parrots. They have a similar shape to parrots, only their coats are much darker. Keas are intelligent in the sense that they’re crafty.

They’ll always find new, creative ways to steal your food or other personal belongings.

Another intelligent bird is the gray parrot. Yes, they’re smart, but they’re also helpful. They are one of the most talkative birds on the planet and can help you out of bad situations.

A fun fact about gray parrots is that they were the first birds to pass a test requiring both understanding and action.

The gray parrot bird passed a difficult intelligence test where they first had to understand that a fellow animal was hurt, then the second part of the test was solving the pain and helping out. Thanks to this, gray parrots are very smart.

By Ravi Ganguly

Hi! My name is Ravi Ganguly, an avid bird lover and the founder of Since my childhood days, I have developed a special interest in birds. I always feel enthusiastic whenever I talk or study about them. My goal is to share helpful bird-related content with other bird lovers worldwide. You can read more about me here.