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Superstitions About Crows – What Do They Mean?

As prevalent as crows are, there are still misconceptions surrounding their existence. For decades, they’ve been considered evil omens. There are numerous beliefs about crows and their involvement in our lives, which are based on folklore and mythology.

Many people believe that crows bring bad luck because of their jet-black plumage and high-pitched ‘caw’ cry, while others believe that crows are just like any other bird.

Why Are Crows So Misunderstood?

A group of crows is called a “murder.” However, this has nothing to do with death or anything of the type. But because of their black appearance, many myths have sprung up connecting the crow to bad luck, gloomy weather and funerals, as well as death. No wonder the caw of a crow is often used as the prelude to something eerie in movies. In fact – there was an entire movie called the crow, and an entire poem called the raven (a type of crow). Needless to say, both were all about dark, eerie things.

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In contrast to other birds, crows are totally black, which makes them appear eerily spooky and adds a sense of gloom to their surroundings at night.

Crows aren’t as scary as they appear to be if you look at them from a different perspective. Crows have long been demonized in folklore and fiction for their association with gloom and doom, which is unfair to these birds.

Just like any other bird, they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Crows are the most misunderstood bird in the world, as evidenced by several studies and investigations.

Are Crows and Ravens the Same?

raven vs crow

We tend to think of ravens and crows as being the same, but there are several differences between these two.

First, ravens are larger than crows. What’s more, they tend to travel in pairs, while crows travel in crowds. Another difference between the two is the shape of their tails and throats. Ravens have tails shaped like wedges whereas crows have tails that fan out. Ravens also have fancier throats than crows, with ruffled feathers.

Ravens are also more mysterious and magical than crows, thanks to all the attention they’ve received in literature, historical references and pop culture. Due to this, the raven is more popular, with many superstitions attached to it – but because differentiating between ravens and crows is tricky, the same superstitions tend to apply to both.

Popular Superstitions About Crows

In folklore, crows are seen as harbingers of death and malevolent witches. Here are some popular superstitions about crows.

1. Feeding Crows Is a Good Sign

In some cultures, it’s said that feeding crows from the front of the house is good luck. They believe that the work you’re currently engaged in will be completed in a satisfactory manner.

In the absence of a perceived threat, crows will not harm people they consider safe. For this reason, if you’ve been contemplating handing out food to crows, then go for it. However, you should exercise caution when feeding them, as crows can be aggressive toward other small garden birds and even eat their eggs.

2. Strange Things Happen When You See a Crow

a crow

Crows carry a lot of symbolic weight. As scavengers, crows are commonly associated with death, funerals, and the burial of the dead, as well as with witchcraft, black magic, haunted places, and bad luck. Others link crows to diseases like plague and war. This is partly because crows and ravens can be found in places where death and disease run rampant – after all, they’re scavenger birds and that’s what they do.

What isn’t true, however, is that crows can sense or deliver death to somebody in any way, shape, or form. Because crows were often found eating dead animals or flying around where dead animals were, they were then considered to be harbingers of death and bad luck.

Some people in the Appalachian Mountains believe that when crows fly low over a house three times, it denotes that there is an impending death in the family. If the crows start crowing early in the morning, it’s likely to rain. Killing a crow, despite its reputation as a harbinger of doom, is a terrible omen.

3. Crows are Symbolic of Knowledge

The American Indians, in contrast to other cultures, faiths, and countries, saw crows as a symbol of knowledge and the law, as opposed to the many grotesque tales about them. They thought of them as wise counselors.

Crows are able to remember the faces of their foes and retain grudges. They may band together to combat a predator or other perceived enemy if they feel threatened.

4. Crows Engage in Superstition and Divination

Ravens were revered by the ancient Greeks as a symbol of Apollo’s anger. It was common for augurs to interpret messages based not just on the color of a bird but also on the direction it flew in during the ancient Greek and Roman eras. East and southward-fleeting ravens were regarded favorable.

5. Number of Crows

In some areas, the number of crows or ravens you observe is more important than the crows or ravens themselves.

Single crows are seen as a negative omen by many people. However, finding two crows is auspicious. Health is indicated by three crows, while riches is shown by four crows. Seeing five crows, on the other hand, portends sickness, while seeing six crows, on the other hand, portends death.

6. Crows in the Bible

Even in the Christian faith, ravens have a special meaning. The Bible refers to ravens as “unclean,” but Genesis informs us that the first bird Noah sent forth from the ark to locate land was a raven. When Cain killed Abel, and Adam and Eve had never buried a body before, a raven guided them through the process. In the Hebrew Talmud, ravens are credited with teaching mankind how to deal with death.

Are Crows Intelligent?

It is well known that crows are quite clever. Crows have a body-to-brain ratio similar to chimpanzees, making them one of the world’s smartest birds. When it comes to the size of their bodies and brains, they are very similar to humans.

They are adept problem solvers, which makes it easier for them to get food. Their ability to come up with creative solutions to complex problems is evident. They also tend to express their feelings through their calls and can produce up to 20 distinct sounds for each occasion.

Some people believe that they have some kind of supernatural ability to predict the future and forecast the unseen because of their intellect.

Is It Bad Luck to Own a Crow as a Pet?

Because crows are designed to live in the wild with other crows, keeping one as a pet is not a good idea. The only exception is if you find an injured or baby crow and are unable to immediately take it to an animal rehabilitation center. They can take greater care of the bird than we can, and they will do it without causing any harm to it.


Although crows have been associated with a variety of spooky and scary phenomena, there is still no proof that they are a cause of either good or bad fortune. They are one of nature’s most intelligent creatures, and their unfortunate eating habits and dark plumage are what likely associated them with all things eerie.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.