American Crow

The American Crow is a common and conspicuous bird found throughout most of the lower 48 states, with less frequent sightings occurring in the southwestern deserts. These all-black birds, including their long legs and heavy, straight bill, have broad feathers that spread like fingers in flight. With a nearly identical appearance to its relative the Common Raven, American Crows can be differentiated by a few key features. Crows are about 1/3 the size of a raven and their tail feathers create a fan shape in flight compared to the wedge shape that a raven’s longer tail feathers display. You are more likely to see crows traveling in large groups and ravens traveling in pairs.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Corvus brachyrhynchos
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
7-8 Years
SIZE
15.8-20.9 ” | 0.7-1.37 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

American Crows are extremely adaptable and can be found in many different habitats though they are most often seen in open woodlands where there are trees to perch and find food. They are uncommon in Southern Nevada but found in the northern portion of the state.

  • Agricultural Lands
  • Developed Landscapes
  • Upland Forests

Threats

  • Disease

Natural History

American Crows have a wide-ranging diet, taking advantage of any available food source. They feed mostly on the ground, eating anything from seeds, grains, and nuts to small animals such as earthworms, insects, and mice. They are frequent nest predators to the eggs of other birds and will even eat aquatic shelled animals like mollusks by soaring high in the air and dropping them on rocks beneath them to break open. Similar to many birds of prey, like owls, crows will cough up indigestible parts of food in the form of pellets.
Crows are highly social birds, often remaining together throughout the year in a family group consisting of the breeding pair and their offspring. The offspring from previous seasons may even help the breeding pair in raising new broods. Outside of the breeding season, during the winter, crows will congregate in large roosts together, sometimes reaching numbers in the high thousands.

Fun Facts

Crows are among our most intelligent birds. They work together, devise solutions to problems, can recognize human faces, and are born with a vocabulary of several dozen calls. They have even been observed dropping shelled nuts onto busy roads to wait for automobiles to crack them open.