Raven, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw Infestations – How to Differentiate Them

Many customers are unsure whether they have an infestation of ravens, rooks, crows, jackdaws… All of these birds are corvids with entirely black plumage, which can be confusing.

In this article, we will explain the fundamental characteristics of these corvids and how to differentiate them.

Raven Infestation


The raven (Corvus Corax, Raven – in English) is easy to identify because it is the largest corvid. Ravens are much larger than rooks, jackdaws, or carrion crows. Their size is very similar to that of a vulture. A raven usually measures between 56 and 78 centimeters and weighs 0.5 to 1.5 kg. Its plumage is black, the tail ends in a diamond shape, and its robust beak is slightly curved downward.

The raven is omnivorous. It feeds on insects, carrion, cereals, fruit, food waste, or small animals.

Rook Infestation


The rook (Corvus Frugilegus) is smaller in size than the crow, but very similar in size to the carrion crows. So, sometimes, rooks and carrion crows can be confused. The best way to know if it is a rook infestation or a carrion crow infestation is by looking at the color of the beak: rooks have a grayish beak of a lighter color than carrion crows and the shape of the top of the head: which is more pointed in rooks than in carrion crows. These are the two most important features to look at (beak color and shape of the top of the head) to know if it is a rook infestation or a carrion crow infestation.

Carrion Crow or Crow Infestation


The carrion crow (Corvus Corone) has black plumage, black beak, square tail, and hoarse caw, which it usually repeats three times. The carrion crow is distinguished from the raven by being much smaller in size. In addition, raven infestations have larger populations. The carrion crow is distinguished from the rook or rook by having a darker black beak than the rooks.

Carrion crows are scavenger birds, but they also eat insects, earthworms, amphibians, small mammals…

Jackdaw Infestation


The jackdaw (Corvus Monedula or Coleus Monedula) is the smallest corvid of all. It usually measures between 35-40 cm in length. Its plumage is black, like the rest of the corvids, but its nape is gray. Jackdaws are easily identified because their eyes have a white iris. They have a short and thick beak. Their flight is fast.

Summarizing: How to differentiate between Ravens, Rooks, Crows, and Jackdaws

The following table shows the most characteristic differential features to differentiate between ravens, rooks, crows, and jackdaws.

CorvidScientific NameCommon NameCorvid SizeMost Important Differential Feature
RavenCorvus CoraxRaven56-78 cmThe largest corvid
RookCorvus FrugilegusRook45-47 cmLighter beak than crow
Top of the head more pointed
CrowCorvus CoroneCrow44-51 cmSmaller than raven
Darker beak than rook
JackdawCorvus / Coleus MonedulaJackdaw34-39 cmThe smallest corvid
Eye with white iris

In summary:

  • If we see a flock of black-feathered corvids with white eyes: it is jackdaws
  • If they are of large size, similar to a vulture: it is a raven infestation
  • If their size is medium and their beak is grayish: we are facing a roo infestation
  • On the contrary, if their size is medium and their beak is dark: we have a crow infestation

How to Scare Away Raven, Rook, Crow, and Jackdaw Infestations

To repel corvid infestations, BirdGard Iberia recommends using sound repellent devices. These devices emit distress calls from the corvids we want to repel, along with predator calls.

Appealing to their natural protective instinct, when these corvids hear the calls of others of their same species warning them of danger, they immediately take flight and leave the area.

That is why it is essential that the sound repellent devices are configured with a sound chip specific to the corvid species that we need to repel. BirdGard Iberia has an extensive catalog of hundreds of sound chips. The most commonly used to scare away these corvid species are:

  • Chip #49 for repelling raven and rook infestations
  • Chip #171 for repelling crow and rook infestations
  • Chip #815 specifically for repelling rook infestations
  • Chip #663 for repelling crow, rook, and jackdaw infestations

Additionally, there are different models of these crow repellents depending on the required coverage area:

Success Stories – Crow Infestations

These sound deterrents are very effective at scaring away crows, as demonstrated by the following customer references:

If you need to protect your crops, industrial installation, landfill… from a crow infestation, whether they are crows, jackdaws, rooks, or magpies, do not hesitate to contact BirdGard Iberia. One of their experts will advise you for free and without obligation on the most suitable solution for your case.