J.CROW'S® Seal by Tashi Mannox

Crow Facts

As members of the corvid family, crows are considered to be among the most adaptable and intelligent birds in the world.

Crows have a varied and evolved language. They can mimic the sounds made by other animals, and they learn to associate noises with events, especially with the distribution of food.

Well-adapted to diverse habitats, crows are found across North America. They thrive in cities and suburban areas where they live in close association with humans.

Crows roost at night in large flocks of up to several thousand during the winter. During the day, smaller groups may fly up to fifty miles in pursuit of food.

Crows are omnivorous. They eat whatever is available to them in their habitat including insects, small amphibians and snakes, earthworms, eggs and nestling birds, and clams, mussels, and other salt-water invertebrates. They also scavenge carrion, garbage, and eat wild and cultivated fruit and vegetables.

With a preference for coniferous trees, crows build their nests in woods or isolated trees at least sixty feet above ground. Nests are solidly built of branches and twigs, and are lined with bark, plant fibers, mosses, twine, and other found materials.

Paired male and female crows share in the incubation of four to six eggs which hatch in eighteen days. Young first fly when they are about one month old. Frequently, at least one young bird will remain with its parents through the next nesting season to assist in the care of new nestlings by bringing them food and guarding the nest.

Within recent years, crow populations have expanded in urban and suburban areas in the Northwest. Wildlife biologists suggest that the increase will soon level off because although crows can find unlimited sources of food, they have begun to run out of potential nesting sites in the area.

Coexisting With Crows

Because of their taste for corn and other agricultural crops, because they occasionally raid the nests of other birds, and because they are often accused of damage caused by other animals, crows have long endured persecution by humans. They have been shot, poisoned, and bombed while roosting, but they persist by adapting to novel circumstances and expanding their range. Crows actually have proven themselves to be beneficial by eating insects and larvae that damage crops.

Crows are attracted to food scraps in garbage and compost piles. Dispose of trash in secure cans, and make sure the lid fits tightly and further secure it with a bungee cord or chain. Do not put food of any kind in open compost piles; bury food in an underground composter or use a lidded worm box instead. To prevent crows from scavenging pet food, it is best not to feed cats and dogs outdoors. If you have no other alternative, pick up food and water bowls, as well as leftovers and spilled food as soon as your pets have finished eating.

Vegetable gardens and fruit trees can be protected until crops are ready for harvest by following these procedures:

1) Protect trees and shrubs with bird netting which can be purchased in a variety of lengths and widths at garden and hardware stores. Tie the netting securely at the base of the plant or on the trunk of the tree to prevent birds from gaining access from below. Harvest crops immediately as they ripen.

2) Crows are particularly fond of young corn plants. As soon as corn has been planted, protect germinating plants with row cover until they are about 8" tall.

While crows have young in the nest and on the ground learning to fly, they may defend adjoining territory by dive-bombing other animals and people. If possible, it is best to stay away from nesting territories until the young have fledged and the parents are no longer as protective.

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