The pied crow is approximately the size of the European carrion crow (46–52 cm in length) but has a longer bill, slightly longer tail and wings, and longer legs. As its name suggests, its glossy black head and neck are interrupted by a large area of white feathering from the shoulders down to the lower breast but the tail, bill and wings are black. The eyes of a fully matured bird are dark brown. The white plumage of immature birds is often mixed with black. It resembles the White-necked and thick-billed ravens but is much smaller, less stocky and has a smaller bill.