American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

AMCR

Code 6

CORBRA

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The American Crow occurs in much of Canada and the United States, and a small part of northern Mexico. The large range of this species is believed to be more than 7 million square kilometers, and it has an estimated breeding population of 27 million. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including urban areas, although it avoids deserts. Although this species is highly susceptible to mortality from the West Nile virus, its population is large and stable enough to warrant a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

American Crow: Large, black bird with dark, stout bill, iridescent violet gloss on body, and blue-black wings. Tail is fan-shaped in flight. Eats insects, small invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, eggs and young of other birds, grains, fruits, refuse, and carrion. Steady direct flight.

 

Range and Habitat

American Crow: Breeds from British Columbia, central interior Canada and Newfoundland south to southern California, across the plains and Midwest to the Gulf Coast and Florida. Usually winters north to southern Canada. Preferred habitats include woodlands, farms, fields, river groves, shorelines, and towns.

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American Crow SONGS AND CALLS

American Crow C1

Most common call is a repeated "caw-caw".

American Crow C2

Typical calls from a small group perched in a tree.

Similar Sounding

Northwestern Crow A3

Repeated calls.


Voice Text

"caw, caw, caw", "caa-caa"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The American Crow has been greatly affected by the recent introduction of West Nile virus to North America. An infected bird will die in less than a week. In some areas the loss of crows has been substantial.
  • A crow will stand over an anthill and allow the ants to climb onto its feathers. One theory is that this allows the ants to discharge their formic acid, thus making them more palatable to the crow.
  • They have been taught to mimic the human voice.They can count and work out solutions to simple problems and are fascinated with and collect shiny objects such as rings, keys and foil.
  • A group of crows has many collective nouns, including a "cauldron", "congress", "horde", "murder", and "muster" of crows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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