My Bantam Lake

American Crow

Written on 06/10/2018

Corvus brachyrhynchos

The American Crow is a large, long-legged, thick-necked bird with a heavy, straight bill. In flight, the wings are fairly broad and rounded with the wingtip feathers spread like fingers. The shor tail is rounded or squared off at the end. These birds measure 40 to 53 centimeters in length and 85 to 100 centimeters in wingspan. They are all black, even the legs and bill. When they molt, the older feathers can appear brownish or scaly compared to the glossy new feathers. American Crows are very social, sometimes forming flocks in the thousands. Crows are good learners and problem-solvers, and they can also be aggressive and chase away larger birds. They are commonly found in fields, open woodlands, and forests. They thrive around people and can thrive in agricultural fields, lawns, parking lots, athletic fields, roadsides, towns, and garbage dumps. They have hoarse, cawing voices, and usually feed on the ground and eat almosts anything. Their flight style is a patient, methodical flapping that is rarely broken up with glides. American Crows are of low conservation concern.

Fun Facts:

  • Young American Crows do not breed until they are at least two years old, and more often until reaching four or more years of age. They help their parents raise the next generation of offspring, forming large families of up to 15 individuals.
  • Crows sometimes make and use tools. 
  • The oldest recorded wild American Crow lived to be at least 16 years, 4 months. A captive crow once lived to be 59 years old.


Source: American Crow Overview and Identification Information, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology