Easily one of the most recognizable birds, crows have a rich history in superstition and folklore alike. While they are usually cast as bad omens or villainous characters (as is evident by the name of their flock: a murder) they are really quite familial and intelligent. The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is widely distributed across the United States, and is a bird easily recognized by even the youngest of aspiring birders.
Read on to find out a bit more about American crows as well as to download printable sheets of useful photos and information about them. Each Wednesday, check the bottom of the “What’s That?” post to find a PDF containing a fact sheet about the day’s featured item, as well as photographs and other resources ideal for using in a nature journal, interactive notebook, or lap book.
Some Things to Know About American Crows
- American Crows are entirely black in color; even their beaks are black.
- Crows often live together in family groups, with young crows delaying breeding themselves for up to four years while they help care for younger siblings.
- Researchers have discovered that crows are actually capable of using tools, such as sticks, particularly when they are trying to access food that they otherwise can’t reach.
- Crows are some of the most skilled spies in the bird world; they are known to follow other birds back to their nests, which they raid for food.
- Crows are very open-minded eaters. They are known to eat everything from fruit and insects to carrion, dog food, and garbage.
- American Crows are known to work together in large groups, sometimes living in groups comprised of hundreds of thousands of birds.
- American Crows engage in a behavior called “mobbing” where they join together to run off potential predators.
- American Crow eggs are between an inch and a half and two inches long, and are greenish, with patches of grey or brown at one end.
A Murder of Crows is a wonderful look at the world of crows (full documentary online).
Click here to download the American Crow nature journal resource pages to use with your own family.