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Critter Guide
Birds: Crow

Crow

Loud, rambunctious, and very intelligent, crows are either loved or hated by humans. Farmers consider crows pests that damage crops by eating their seedlings. Their black feathers made many people fear them throughout history, often associating them with death. Crows are in the corvidae family which includes ravens, magpies, and blue jays. The ubiquitous crow is loved by many for its sharp intelligence.


Where do they live?:

Crows live all over the world, except for South America, New Zealand, and Antarctica.


What do they eat?:

Crows are predators and scavengers, which means that they will eat practically anything. Their diet consists of various road-kill, insects, frogs, snakes, mice, corn, human fast food, even eggs and nestlings of other birds. An adult crow needs 11 ounces of food daily.


Social Environment:

Crows are very social and have a tight-knit family. They roost in huge numbers (in the thousands) to protect themselves from enemies like red-tailed hawks, horned-owls, and raccoons. Crows also use 25 different calls. The distress call brings other crows to their aid, as crows will defend unrelated crows. Crow couples are thought to mate for life.


Critter Fact:

A group of crows is called a "murder." This name came about because a group of crows will sometimes kill a dying crow.




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Did You Know?

Crows are considered the most intelligent of all birds. One example of their brainpower is their use of tools: They sharpen twigs to help them forage for insects and larvae. Also, crows have a remarkable memory and there are some studies indicating that crows can count.

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