The Crow is generally black in colour, but also be black with white, gray, or brown colours. They have a black beak and legs. Crows may become a nuisance when they gather in huge communal roosts, sometimes numbering hundreds of thousands. Omnivorous and aggressive, they may prey on other birds and their eggs, and they are often destructive to crops. They are beneficial, however, in helping to control insects and small rodents. They are found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and are the largest (66 cm/26 in) of the perching, or song, birds. The common crow, C. brachyrhynchos, of North America is about 50 cm (20 in) long, all black and stout-bodied, and has a heavy bill. It is abundant from coast to coast (except in the Great Basin area) and from Canada to Mexico, and it retreats from northern to southern ranges in winter. There throaty ‘caww’ is familiar, although they can produce a musical warble.
- Crows are generally black, with black beaks and legs, but they can also be black with white, gray, or brown coloring.
- The common crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is approximately 20 – 30 cm long, with a wingspan double that.
- Crows range all over North America, and some species or another can be found just about anywhere. They thrive in mountains, woodlands, across plains and farmers’ fields, and throughout urban areas.
- They are migratory, and will assemble in large flocks in the fall, to travel south.
- Crows nests are bulky structures built in trees or bushes. They are made of twigs, lined with bark, grasses, and rootlets.
- The female crow lays 4-7 eggs in the nest, and the male helps incubate them. These eggs are greenish or bluish, and blotched with brown. Once hatched, the young remain in the nest 6 – 8 weeks, and in their early life they eat almost half of their weight per day in food, which the parents bring to them.
- Crows are omnivorous – they will eat anything edible, and many things which aren’t. Their regular diet includes animal and vegetable matter, insects, crops (especially corn), and occasionally the eggs or young of other birds.
- They eat a number of pests which are harmful to those same crops, including cutworms, wireworms, grasshoppers and even noxious weeds.