Corvus brachyrhynchosAmerican Crow

Family

  • Corvidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: Up to 14 years
  • Captivity: Up to 30 years

Size

  • Length: 16 to 21 inches; females are the smaller sex
  • Wingspan: 33 to 39 inches
  • Weight: 11 to 22 ounces

Origin

  • Southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico

Habitat

  • Grasslands, open woodlands, forests, coastal areas, farmland, and cities

DietAmerican Crow

  • Wild: Vegetables, nuts, fruit, insects, mice, eggs, young birds, and carrion
  • Zoo: Beef, thawed frozen mice, lake smelt, and dog kibble

Reproduction

  • Crows lay between 3 and 8 eggs once a year in a large cup-shaped nest of sticks lined with plant matter.
  • Nests are found in trees or bushes, or even at the top of a telephone pole.
  • Both parents, who mate for life, care for the chicks.

Corvid Facts

  • Corvids are the most intelligent and adaptable of all the birds. They have a highly evolved social system that aids them in dealing with any situation.

Fun Facts

  • Crows are very vocal.
    • Sounds include "caws", "coos", and rattles, among others.
    • Crows have been known to mimic human speech
  • Practice Mobbing- where a group of crows will gather together, then vocally harass and chase predators.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • Crows are considered pests in some agricultural areas, leading to the invention of the scarecrow.
  • Crow numbers have been quite steady, but high susceptibility to West Nile virus may cause population decreases in the near future.

What’s the Difference?

Ever wonder the difference between ravens and crows? Ravens and crows seem at first glance to be very similar in appearance, but they have very noticeable differences. First, ravens are generally larger than crows, nearly 1/3 larger. Although both birds are black, crows are a flat black, sometimes with light markings while a raven has a blue or purple sheen, especially when in sunlight. The tail is different as well. Crows have an evenly curved tail like a fan while the tail of a raven comes to a triangular point. Also, crows are usually found in groups, while ravens live a more solitary lifestyle.

American Crow

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org