About The Crow
The crow is the common name for a group of about 27 passerine birds. Crows can be found anywhere in the world except for Antarctica and South America. They are considered to be the most intelligent of birds and are very adaptable.
All North American crows black. They also have a glossy sheen. The American Crow, also known as Common Crow, is the best known crow species there is. Like all North American crows they are black from the bill to the tip of their tails and have a glossy iridescent look to its feathers. The can grow up to 21” long and are identified by their fan-shaped tails. Their average lifespan is approximately 15 years in the wild. Male and female crows look are virtually indistinguishable except for their size since males are usually slightly larger than females.
The Crow Nesting Preferences
The usually gregarious American crows are very silent and secretive when it comes to their nesting area. Their nests are usually hard to find and are placed 18 to 60 feet above ground. There are instances, however, when a crow’s nest has been found on the ground. The nests are usually 12 inches wide and are built using twigs and sticks and are lined with bark strips, grass, moss, leaves, feathers, and human hair.
Building a Birdhouse For The Crow
Crows are every common and are even considered by many to be pesky. Because of this it is rare that birdhouses or even feeders are built to attract them. For those who want to spot an American crow all you need to do is go to a nearby cornfield or a highway with carrions from road kills.
The Crow Mating Habits
American crows mate in late winter. Their mating habits happen in the ground where the male in typical courtship display fluffs it feathers in front of the female. The male then spreads its wings and tail a bit before bowing to the female crow while singing a short song. After mating the male and female crow proceed to preening each other’s feathers while touching their bills. American crows are monogamous paring for life. The courtship ritual happens only once before pairing so that it is rarely observed.
The Crow Feeding Preferences
American crows are very wary when feeding. They feed in flocks of 5 to 7 birds and feed in shifts with some of them staying in trees to guard the territory from possible predators while other feed on the ground. The American crow’s diet is varied. They eat everything from fruits, grain, nuts, insects, small reptiles, rats, rabbits, eggs, nestlings of other birds, and carrion. The crow is actually famous for eating carrion resulting from road kill.
Interesting Crow Facts
- The American crow is very susceptible to the West Nile virus, a disease just recently introduced in North America. American crows usually die within one week of acquiring the disease with only very few surviving exposure. Crows are so affected by the disease that their deaths are now serving as an indicator of the West Nile Virus’ activity in an area.
- The American crow can address problems using several solutions showing great problem solving skills. American crows can also count!