Right now a pair of enormous crows (or are they ravens?) are pecking at my lawn, their feathers glistening like rain-slicked asphalt as the afternoon sun pours down. They look nice against the lawn's fresh green, and by the contrast of their darkness render the pale yellow daffodils and pale mauve irises more vivid. Every yard needs a crow (or raven) or two. The blue jays they drove away are not pleased as I am, though, and I hear them screech from their refuge in the pine trees down the street.
The Internets being back, I was able to Google crows and ravens to see if I could discover which of the species my lawn birds were, and I found this helpful post on a discussion board
"Physical Differences:Unfortunately the birds had flown away by the time I found the information. I'm sure I'll be seeing more of the birds, though. This place is full of corvids.
Crows average around 17 inches long, and ravens about 24-27.
A raven weighs about four times that of a crow.
Crows have a wing span around 2.5 ft., and ravens about 3.5-4 ft.
A raven's wing sometimes makes a prominent "swish, swish" sound, while a crow's wingbeat is usually silent.
Ravens have pointed wings, while crows have a more blunt and splayed wing tip.
Crows have a fan-shaped tail (squared-off), while raven tails are long and wedge-shaped.
Besides having a bigger, more powerful bill, a raven's bill is curved, while a crow has a more-or-less flat bill. Additionally, atop a raven's bill is a tuft of hairs absent on crows.
As a result of being larger and more powerful, ravens are the more efficient predator. (Predation is a very small percentage of crow and raven diets.)"
The discussion board also provided this link to a YouTube video of a crow and a cat hanging out together. It reminds me of how my grandmother's cat, Inky, once adopted a family of mice. The crow and the cat developed a long-term relationship, but Inky didn't get to keep her mice for very long as my grandmother was unsentimental and, once the novelty of a cat looking after mice had worn off, got rid of the rodents. She always let her dog lick her plates, then would put them back in the cupboard without washing them, but she didn't want a bunch of dirty mice living in her house. I'm glad that isn't on YouTube.