The different types of crows can be grouped into four categories. The term "crow" refers to members of the Corvus genus, known as corvids, and includes crows, ravens, rooks and jackdaws. Although all of these species are primarily black, there are some differences that differentiate them from each other. Crows are found throughout the world and often live near humans or in wooded areas nearby.
The crow group includes species such as the American crow, fish crow and northwestern crow. The American crow is one of the most recognized crow species. They live in several parts of the United States, primarily in residential areas. American crows generally nest in evergreen trees and forage for insects, seeds, mice, nuts and carrion at sites such as landfills, farmlands, parks and backyards. They have short, square tails, straight beaks and are entirely black.
Common ravens are the most widely distributed raven species. Ravens are also completely black in color, although they are bigger than crows and have puffy feathers around their throat and a thicker beak. Ravens live throughout the northern hemisphere in several different habitats, including mountains, forests, beaches and grasslands. They tend to be solitary or live in pairs, unlike the more social American crows. Ravens eat insects, fish, eggs, baby tortoises and garbage.
Crows and ravens are known for being highly intelligent. They can understand cause and effect, and often use tools that they make themselves. They are also very playful and mischievous and can be trained to mimic calls or perform tricks when kept as pets.
Jackdaws are highly social birds found in parts of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Unlike crows and ravens, jackdaws have light eyes and gray feathers on their head, neck and chest. The rest of their bodies are covered with black feathers. They are also smaller and have shorter beaks. Jackdaws inhabit woodlands, pastures and parks, feeding on seeds, insects, snails, spiders and garbage.
Rooks live in parts of northern and central Europe, as well as Asia. Although they are mostly black, they differ from crows, ravens and jackdaws in that they have pale, grayish skin around their beaks. Their leg feathers also have a more ruffled appearance than other crow species. Rooks are found in open fields and the outskirts of residential areas, where they feed on worms, insects, grains, small birds and carrion. Rooks are very social and travel in large flocks that sometimes include jackdaws.