An American Crow is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify American Crows. We have also put together a list of fun American Crow T-shirts, American Crow bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About the American Crow
These hoarse-cawing birds are common all over the American continent. They are large, intelligent, and all-black. You can spot them in treetops, parks, abandoned places, fields, and also in town centers. Their high intelligence has enabled them to adapt to civilization.
Description and Identification
American Crows are large birds with iridescent black feathers. They are 16-21 inches in length, and their wingspan is 33-39 inches wide. These birds have a relatively small bill and a very long tail that makes up 40% of their entire length. The males are often larger than females. Although similar in appearance, American Crows can be differentiated from Ravens through their overall smaller size, and slightly broader wings. They are also extremely similar to Fish Crows, to the extent that any attempts to differentiate these two birds from their physical appearance alone are highly inaccurate. In this case, they can be distinguished from their characteristic long and loud caws, which are quite different from the short and nasal caws of Fish Crows. By varying the caw sounds they make, these highly intelligent and social birds can communicate with each other.
American Crow Color Pattern
These are all-black birds. They have black underparts and upperparts, feathers, bills, eyes, and legs. However, when molting they appear brownish as they shed off their old feathers.
American Crow Size
They are large, long-legged, and have a thick heavy bill. Their short tail is either squared or rounded at the tip. Their wingtips are rounded and evenly spread out. They are larger than Blue Jay but dwarfed by the common Raven. Both female and male American Crows are 15.8-20.9 inches in length. They weigh 11.2-21.9 ounces and have a wingspan range of 33.5-39.4 inches.
American Crow Behavior
They are very social birds; you can find them in flocks of thousands plus members. They are embraced for their problem-solving abilities. They visit garbage cans and devour any food material available. Their aggressive nature enables them to chase away intruders, especially larger birds such as hawks. These opportunistic birds cough out indigestible food material.
American Crow Diet
American Crows are omnivorous birds that change their diet seasonally. They feed on various invertebrates, human food leftovers, nestlings, eggs, fish, and grains. These birds are also active hunters who prey on small animals such as frogs and mice. During winter and autumn, they are more dependant on grains such as acorns and nuts. These birds are not very particular about their food, they often take advantage of the availability of new food sources. Rarely, American Crows can be seen visiting bird feeders. Like other Crows they are considered nuisances because of their tendency to scavenge at landfills; scattering garbage while doing so.
They are omnivorous hence feed on a wide variety of food materials. They practically feed on anything available, from snakes, insects, frogs, eggs, other small birds, seeds, fruits, berries, etc. they also devour aquatic creatures such as crayfish, clams, and young turtles.
American Crow Habitat
American Crows are very adaptive birds that suit most habitats. The only habitats they avoid are dense forests, as here they are more susceptible to attacks by stronger predators. American Crows can commonly be found in cultural fields and orchards, riparian forests, marshes, and city areas. They are known to thrive around humans.
American crows can live in any habitat that provides them with a site to perch in. Them being scavengers, the food source is also a crucial aspect of their habitat; there has to be a plenty and consistent food source. They frequent farmlands, pasture, city parks, and landfills and can be found along river shores.
Range and Migration
American Crows are large intelligent birds native to North America. These birds range from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in Canada. American Crows residing in America are permanent residents, but the birds living up north in Canada migrate southwards. American Crows migrate in flocks, and their wintering habitats are quite close to their breeding range. As these birds migrate in flocks, they can drive away other birds from their breeding areas. Vagrant American Crows do not stray farther away than Mexico.
American Crow Lifecycle
The females lay 4-6 eggs and incubate them for about 18 days. The young are fed by both parents and sometimes a “helper.” They leave the nest 4-5 weeks after hatching. American crows can live up to 8 years in the wild.
American Crows are monogamous birds. The males court the females by facing them, fluffing up their feathers, partly spreading wings and tails, and bowing repeatedly while producing a rattling song. Both members of a breeding pair work together to build a bulky stick nest near the trunk, or on a horizontal branch of a tree. Sometimes, they also build their nests in bushes or on the ground. Oaks are the most preferred trees for building their nests. These nests are vulnerable to attack by several predators such as snakes, raccoons, hawks, eagles, and cats. Males protect the nests with the assistance of their previous offsprings as most offsprings don’t leave their nests for 4-5 years after birth.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At the Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
- Kids Bird Watching Monthly Subscription$10.00 / month
- Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription$10.00 / month and a $72.00 sign-up fee
- Kids Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription$10.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying American Crows
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing American Crows are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
American Crow T-shirts
If you love the American Crow you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
American Crow Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron on patches. Our bird watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen an identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The American Crow is a great iron on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
American Crow Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the American Crow. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders For American Crows
There are many types of bird feeders. Bird feeders are a great addition to your backyard. Bird feeders will increase the chances of attracting birds drastically. Both kids and adults will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. There are a wide variety of bird feeders on the market and it is important to find the best fit for you and your backyard.
Best Bird Houses for American Crow
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.