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Last updated date: 09th Apr 2024
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Introduction to Crow

Crows are commonly blackbirds. These birds are well known for their intelligence, skill, and their high adaptability. These birds have a very loud and harsh "caw", which is not so soothing to the ears. The scientific name of the crow is ‘Corvus’. Ravens and rooks belong to this genus along with the crows. All these birds belong to the Corvidae family, which includes jays, magpies, and nutcrackers. Crows are extremely intelligent birds. They are popular for their problem-solving skills and are highly famous for their amazing communication skills. For example, when a crow encounters or meets a mean or negative human, it will teach the other crows how to identify him. Another amazing fact, found by researchers is that crows never forget a face. 

Here, we will study about this amazing bird species called a crow. Also, we will delve into the details of this bird, studying many such amazing facts about it. 

Crow Bird 

Crows do have a bad reputation for damaging crops in the fields. However, their impact is quite less than what is exaggerated about this amazing bird.  

They are large birds that have shiny black feathers. Crows flock together in large families. These birds are recognized by their loud voices and also, they are marked by their intelligence. Crows are very clever and curious birds who have a reputation as thieves and even pranksters. These birds belong to a group of birds, who are known as ‘songbirds’. 

The scientific name of a crow is ‘Corvus’. There are various types of crows that are found in the world. These crows sustain in many different habitats, which include woodlands, farms, and even cities. The American crow is very common in the United States and in Canada. The other types of crows are the carrion crow, fish crow, pied crow, and house crow. Large crows may measure up to 20 inches long. These long crows are mostly black in colour. Crows also have powerful beaks, through which they can catch smaller animals or can eat the crops in the farms.

Crows survive on a great variety of plants and small animals. They can be a nuisance to the farmer for eating corn and grains but they also help the farmers by eating insects and pests.

Types of Crow 

Coming to the question, what is the scientific name of a crow? Well, each type of crow has a unique scientific name. The different types of crows are enumerated below with their scientific names.

  1. Corvus Albus

These are also known as Pied Crows (they are found in central African coasts to southern Africa). It is essentially a raven which is small and of the size of a crow, typically hybridizes with the Somali crow. It has longer legs, a little longer tail, wider wings, and a comparatively larger beak than a normal European carrion crow, with whom it is normally associated. Its head and neck are glossy and purely black and have white feathers starting from its shoulder to its lower back. 

The Corvus Albus is usually found in small groups in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, the cape of good hope, and large islands including Madagascar and Comoros. They normally inhabit open countries. 

  1. Corvus Albicollis 

Also known as a white-necked raven or Cape raven (found in southern, central, and eastern Africa). It is found mainly in the eastern and southern mountainous areas of Africa. They are smaller than the northern ravens. It has a short tail, deep beaks with a white tip that is arched significantly. The Corvus albicollis is predominantly black with a few glossy patches of purple from the throat to the breasts.

Like most ravens, they form flocks at maturation and then tend to pair off inhabiting certain territories. They often fly in the company of other common scavengers like vultures. They have, in fact, been observed to act like these scavengers when looking for food and often feast on carrions and turtles. 

  1. Corvus Bennetti

Known as the little crow (found in Australia). It is very similar to the Torresian crow as it also has small white patches on its neck and slightly smaller head feathers and beak. It is commonly found in western and central Australia; they inhabit very dry areas in flocks. The Corvus Bennetti is not so much of a scavenger and tends to take most of its diet from insects and seeds found in cultivated lands of small countries and towns.

  1. Corvus Brachyrhynchos

They are the American Crow (found in the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico). It measures approximately 40-55cm, out of which the tail is almost 20-25cm. It has iridescent black feathers. The Corvus brachyrhynchos is omnivorous in nature and tends to feed off insects, fishes, seeds, carrions, and eggs of other animals. Apart from the usual, these birds are also active scavengers and feast on frogs, mice, and various other small animals. Although they are named the American crow, they inhabit lands ranging from Canada’s Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean through the USA and into the north of Mexico.

The American crow is usually associated with the West Nile virus, an infection that is found commonly in this particular species of crows. 

  1. Corvus Capensis

Known as Cape Crow Cape rook (found in eastern and southern Africa). It is comparatively larger in size than the carrion crow. It has longer legs, wings, and tail- all black with a slight hint of purple gloss in its feathers. It also has a long and slim beak that helps it to find invertebrates from deep within the ground.

The Corvus capensis inhabit two large distinct regions of the African continent. The first one is from the Cape through Angola and across to Mozambique's east coast. The other population occurs in central east Africa including South Sudan and Kenya. This type of crow thrives majorly on agricultural, cultivated lands and feeds predominantly on seeds and other types of grains. However, it is also known to feed on the eggs and chicks of the ground birds. 

  1. Corvus Corax 

They are the common raven or northern raven (they are found in the Holarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere). It has approximately eight other subspecies with almost the same appearance. These birds tend to live longer than 23 years in appropriate habitats. A fully grown Corvus corax is approximately 50-70cm in length and has a wingspan of almost 140 cm. It has a comparatively larger and blacker beak than the other crow species. Although the Corvus corax can survive in almost any part of the world ranging from Africa to Alaska (where they are found only yearly) they tend to inhabit woodlands more, which provide them with places to nest and breed.

They are omnivores and feed on anything from grains to mice. They are both predators and scavengers in nature. 

  1. Corvus Cornix 

The hooded crow (found in northern and eastern Europe and northern Africa). This is a Eurasian crow’s species. It is predominantly black with an ash-grey plumage. Due to its weight, it has a slow and heavy flight. They normally inhabit the lands of northern and eastern Europe and are sometimes found in western Asia. The Corvus cornix gets the majority of its diet from scavenging. As they tend to live mostly in coastal regions, they are seen breaking the shells of crabs for food. 

  1. Corvus Corone 

The carrion crow (found in Europe and eastern Asia). It is mostly covered in black feathers with a plumage that has a green gloss. Its beak looks shorter because it's stouter than a rook’s beak. They are natives of the eastern Palearctic and western Europe. The Corvus corone is also an omnivorous scavenger and feeds on both insects and grains. 

  1. Corvus Coronoides 

Known as Australian Raven (found in eastern and southern Australia). It is Australia’s largest species of crows with an approximate measurement of 46-53cm and weighs almost 650 grams. It is fully black feathered and has a white iris. They are found throughout the Australian continent- more populous in eastern and south-western Australia while more scattered in the northern parts of Australia. 

  1. Corvus Crassirostris 

They are the thick-billed raven (found in Ethiopia). It is distinguished by its very huge bill and an even larger size. It is one of the largest species of crows that are found in the whole world. It weighs more than one kilogram. It has comparatively short feathers than the other species with a brown gloss. The Corvus crassirostris inhabit mountainous and high plateaus in Somalia and Ethiopia.

It is an omnivorous species which often feeds on animal dung and other grubs.

Crow Eggs

Nesting Facts about crows are as follows.

  • Clutch Size: 3-9 eggs.

  • Egg Width: 1.0-1.2 in (2.6-3.1 cm)

  • Incubation Period: 16-18 days

  • Nestling Period: 20-40 days

  • Description of the Egg: It is Pale bluish-green to olive green in colour with blotches of brown and grey towards the large ending.

Crow Information

Crows are glossy blackbirds that are found majorly in all parts of the world. However, they are not found in the southern part of America. These crows are normally smaller and they are not thick-billed like the other birds. The majority of the Corvus species are known as crows. The large crows measure about 0.5 meters, which is 20 inches long, and they have wingspans that can reach up to 1 meter that is 39 inches. 

Crows feed on the ground itself where they walk around purposefully. Crows are omnivorous animals who hunt on young and weak animals. 

The berries, insects, and even eggs of other animals are eaten away by the crows. They catch the meat as a leopard does, swiftly, and store it for later consumption.  

About Crow 

Crows live in large and close-knitted families. They are very much social in nature, who hunt, forage together, and defend their territories together. They also care for their younger ones. Most of the crow species do not normally nest in colonies. Each of the mating pairs has its own nest which is made up of sticks and twigs, which are generally situated high up in a tree. In these nests are laid five or six greenish-to-olive-colored eggs, with their darker speckles. The young crows may spend up to six years with their own parents before breeding on their own. 

As the winter approaches, the northern crows gather together and form night-roosting groups. The night-roosting flocks can include tens of thousands of birds, while occasionally hundreds of thousands of birds are also grouped together. The possible reasons for these seasonal gatherings can be - for warmth, for protection against the predators like owls or hawks, or for exchanging information. A crow may live up to 13 years in the wild, while it can live 20 years in captivity.

Crow Facts 

Crows are very intelligent. They can be doing masterful mimics. If trained properly they can count aloud up to the number seven. They can call dogs and also taunt their owner’s horses. These species exhibit great curiosity, they have a reputation as inventive pranksters and they are also popularly known as thieves. 

Crow Characteristics 

The characteristics of crows are as follows.

  1. Crows have their own clever ways to get food. They tend to be opportunistic and creative when it comes to food. Exploiting new food sources and also adopting feeding strategies make their lives easier to live. 

  2. Crows do not only use tools, they also make them. The crows can make their own tools with the help of a corvid

  3. Crows Can Solve Puzzles along with the Human Kids. We all read about the story ‘The thirsty crow’. That story itself justifies this characteristic of solving puzzles. 

  4. Crows mourn over their dead ones. Crows are very famous for holding ‘funerals’ when one of the birds in their clan dies.  In some cases, the crows are seen to keep a vigil watch over the fallen bird for days. Maybe they are possibly mourning at this time. 

  5. Crows also gossip, hold grudges, and they quite know who a person is. There are several species of crows who have demonstrated the quality of recognizing human faces. Like for example, Magpies and Ravens, are both known to scold the researchers who got too close to their nests in the past, this was regardless of whatever the researchers wear while they study. 

Crow Species 

There are around 40 different species of crow existing in the world. According to a research study, there are crows of many different sizes. The American crow can measure around 17.5 inches (which is 45 cm). While the fish crow measures around 19 inches (that is 48 cm). Then the common raven is very large and measures up to 27 inches (which is 69 cm). Other crows can almost weigh anywhere from 12 to 57 ounces (which is 337 to 1,625 grams). The rooks are quite smaller than the crows, they have a specific wedge-shaped tail, with light-colored bills. They are on average 18 inches (47 cm) long while measured.

American crows are different from the common ravens in many ways. Ravens are quite bigger and their voices are hoarser than that of the crows also they have heavier bills than the crows.


Crow Body Parts

The features of crows can be rightly studied by observing a domestic crow, which is also known as the Indian crow, or the grey-necked, Ceylon or even named the Colombo crow. They are a common bird of the crow family which are of Asian origin, they are now found in the majority of parts of the world, where they originally arrived by shipping. This is between the jackdaw and the carrion crow which measures in size of 40 cm (that is 16 inches) lengthwise. They are slimmer than either of the species. The forehead, which is the crown of the crow, the throat, and the upper breast are glossy and rich black in colour. While the neck and the breast part are light greyish-brown in colour. These wings, tails, and legs are completely black in colour. The crows are varied regionally. Some have thick bill and depth of colour and this occurs in areas of the plumage.

After studying precisely about this bird, we can now understand its species and what the bird represents. Beyond all the myths here, we have learned about the beauty of this bird.

FAQs on Crow

1. How are Ravens Different from a Crow?

Ravens differ greatly from crows. By their appearance, the ravens have larger bills. Their tail shape and flight pattern are quite large in size. Ravens are as big as the other species called the Red-tailed Hawks, while the crows are about the size of the pigeons. Ravens have a wedge-shaped tail while crows have a fan-shaped tail. Ravens are capable of longer flights than the crows, they have shorter flights.

Corvidae is this family of the oscine passerine birds, which contains, crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers. Also, in common English, these are known as the crow family or the corvids. There are about 120 species of birds that belong to this family.

Both of these birds have high intellect power. Though ravens are quite smarter than crows. They are quite playful. Ravens are capable of a minimum of 7 different types of calls and they can imitate the calls of other birds as well like the geese, jays, or crows. The ravens also use flying stunts to attract their mates (like barrel-rolling, flying upside-down, and also somersaults).

2. What are Rooks?

Rook is also called the Corvus frugilegus. They are members of the Corvidae family. They are found in the Palearctic regions, extending from Scandinavia to the western part of Europe and to Eastern Siberia. Rooks are quite large, gregarious black-feathered birds that are distinguished from similar species by the wheatish featherless area on their face. These birds’ nests are huddled collectively on the tops of tall trees, which are often close to the farms or to the villages, the groups of nests are known as the rookeries.  Rooks are majorly residential birds, but in the northernmost populations, they may move southwards to avoid the harsh winter conditions in this zone. The rooks form flocks in winter, to keep themselves warm. They are often found in the company of other Corvus species or the jackdaws. They return to their rookeries or nests and they breed in the springtime.

3. What Do Crows Indicate Spiritually?

The crows may represent change or the process of transformation. Even more than that, this refers more to a spiritual or emotional change in society. They are quite intelligent birds that give us valuable insight into the situations which we face in times of difficulty.

Crows are the symbolic spiritual language of what death represents, it is rather than the physical act of dying. So, removing the myth, seeing a crow will never mean that death is near us or for our loved ones.

4. How Can Crows be Bad?

If someone wants to make sure the shrubs and flowers in the garden remain safe, then one must know how to keep the crows away from the garden plants. Crows have a bad reputation when it comes to gardens or farms.

5. Which Bird Lays its Eggs in the Nest of a Crow?

Koel, this bird lays its eggs in the nest of a crow and slips off. Crows hatch these eggs and nurse their little ones.