Large, glossy-black bird with a wedge-shaped tail. Larger than a crow with a longer, thicker bill. Distinctive shape in flight, with rather long, swept-back wings and long tail. Note smoother, steadier wingbeats compared with faster, choppier wingbeats of crows. Extensive range throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Found in a wide variety of habitats, including desert, coniferous forest, coastlines, sagebrush, tundra, and grasslands. Often solitary or in pairs, but can gather in small groups. Typical call is a loud, guttural croak, but makes an astonishing variety of other strange noises. Compare with Chihuahuan Raven in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, and with various large, all-dark crows and ravens in Europe and Asia.