American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

Copyright, Dr. Dan Sudia

The American Crow, also called the Common Crow, is a bird that most people see every day. It grows up to 21 inches long and every part of its body is black. American Crows can also be identified by their fan-shaped tail.

This bird lives just about everywhere, including woods, fields, riversides, parks, and towns.

American Crows are known to be very intelligent birds, and can work out solutions to many problems, as well as count.

Peter Weber, www.wildbirdphotos.com

Copyright, Petr Myska, www.vivanatura.org

Copyright, Greg Gough

American Crows mate in late Winter. Males and females build a nest together. Usually the nest is in a tall tree, but sometimes it is built on the ground. Nest materials include sticks, twigs, bark strips, grass, leaves, roots, moss, feathers, and hair. They are usually about a foot wide.

Female crows lay three to seven bluish-green eggs with brown or gray blotches. Parents take turns incubating (sitting on) the eggs. Eggs take about two and a half weeks to hatch. Once born, nestlings are fed by both parents. Young crows fledge (leave the nest) after five weeks.

American Crows eat a wide variety of foods, including: fruits, grains, nuts, acorns, snails, mussels, small birds, eggs, rabbits, mice, toads, crayfish, snakes, lizards, salamanders, rats, grasshoppers, cutworms, Junebugs, grubs, weevils, and other insects.

A major food source of crows is carrion. They are often seen eating dead animals on the sides of roads.

American Crows gather in groups in the summer. Up to eight crows may stay together in a group. While feeding, one or two crows will be a lookout at the top of a tall tree. If danger approaches, they will sound the alarm to the other crows. In Winter, crows from miles around gather into large groups to roost. Thousands of crows may roost together in the same area. A flock of crows is called a "murder."

Crows do not get along with birds of prey, such as hawks, owls, and eagles. They will gather together to mob these birds if they can. Mobbing includes dive bombing, chasing, and harassing.

Predators of American Crows include the predatory birds listed above, snakes, raccoons, and man.

Copyright, Jim Herd

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
American Crow Call
Sound
Unknown
American Crow Coloring Page
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Differential Grasshopper

Red-tailed Hawk

Yellow Poplar

Black Cherry D

Field Cricket

Barred Owl

Black Oak

Highbush Blueberry D

Black Cherry

Great Horned Owl

Switchgrass

Black Oak D

Northern Cardinal

Bald Eagle

Willow Oak

Wild Grape D

Eastern Garter Snake

Raccoon

Greenbrier D

American Toad

Black Rat Snake

Smooth Sumac D

Highbush Blueberry

White-footed Mouse SP

Red-backed Salamander

Rabies Virus Pa

Eastern Cottontail

Bald Eagle EC

Meadow Vole

Ring-billed Gull EC

Black Rat Snake

Sharp-shinned Hawk SP EC

Five-lined Skink

White-footed Mouse

Crayfish

Black Oak

Wild Grape

American Robin

Virginia Opossum (carrion)

Raccoon (carrion)

Relationship to Humans:

Many people have a strong dislike of crows. They can be an annoying pest when they tear open garbage bags to get to food, and they can damage crops when they are in large groups. However, Common Crows do a lot to help people too. They eat large numbers of pesky insects and rodents, and control populations of other animals as well. Just as important is their ability to "clean up" dead animals, especially roadkills. Without this service, we would be facing more problems related to dead creatures, such as spread of bacteria and disease.

People who have had Common Crows as pets have been able to teach them human words.

Common Crows have been known to get the Rabies from dead animals. They are also one of the few animals that can rid themselves of the disease.

Crows are attracted to shiny objects. They may fly off with bits of foil or even jewelry if given a chance.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bird
ORDER
Passeriformes
FAMILY
Corvidae
GENUS
Corvus
SPECIES
Corvus brachyrhynchos

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