NatureMapping Animal Facts for Kids

American Crow

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Species Code: COBR

El Cuervo Americano - en Español

distribution map crow photo

What they look like: You probably know what crows look like. They are black birds that are about 18 inches long (that’s a little longer than a large box of Cheeri-Os). On a bright sunny day, crows sometimes look dark purple. Sometimes people think that crows are ravens, but crows have different shaped tail feathers, shorter wingspan, and are a lot smaller.

Lean how to identify Crows and Ravens »

Where they live: Crows live in many different places. They like to live in open places because if dangerous animals are nearby, the crows can see them better. Some places crows live are on beaches, in farm fields, in orchards, in woods that are near water, and in neighborhoods like yours. Crows build their nests in trees, bushes, and on telephone poles. Their nests are shaped like a cup and are made of twigs. A mother crow will lay about 5 eggs in her nest and sit on them for 18 days. While she’s sitting on them, the father crow will get food for her. Both the mother and the father will take care of the baby crows when they are born. The young crows can fly after about 4 weeks. After about 8 weeks, they may leave the area and look for a new place to live.

What they eat: Crows like to eat in open areas where there are not a lot of trees. Sometimes, crows will help each other look for food. Crows like to eat bugs and small animals like mice. They also like to eat grains like wheat and corn. They will eat animals that have died - like roadkill (animals hit by a car). Crows aren't too picky - they’ll eat just about anything they can catch!

Behavior: Crows can been seen flying around cities and neighborhoods. They often feed in family groups, then gather in large flocks to roost at night. Communal sleeping groups are known as "roosts."

Did you know that crows are some of the smartest birds in the world?

Crows are so smart that they can tell each other things using the "caw" sounds that they make. By changing their sounds, crows can warn each other of dangerous animals they see. Sometimes other animals are able to understand what the crows are saying and avoid danger.

American Crow Tracks

American Crow Silhouette
American Crow photo
American Crow Photo
Tracks by by J. Wernet, age 12

More information: Crows - WDFW Living with Wildlife

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