American crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos subfamily

Corvinae taxonomy

Corvus brachyrhynchos Brehm, 1822, Boston, Massachusetts. Four subspecies.

other common names

English: Common crow; French: Corneille d'Amérique; German: Amerikanerkrähe; Spanish: Cuervo Americano.

physical characteristics

15.21-19.11 in (39-49 cm); male 1 lb (458 g), female 15.33 oz (438 g). Plumage is entirely black with a light violet-blue gloss. Wings have a more greenish blue gloss. Prominent bristles cover the basal third of the upper mandible. Bill, legs, and feet are black.


Widespread throughout North America. Canadian birds migrate to central United States and Atlantic seaboard.


Adapted to most habitats with the exception of arid areas and dense forest.


Gathers in huge communal roosts in winter, sometimes containing tens of thousands of birds. Individuals will fly up to 50 mi (80 km) to the roost.

feeding ecology and diet

Omnivorous. Main food items include insects, bird nestlings and eggs, and carrion.

reproductive biology

Solitary nester. Builds stick nest in fork of tree, bush, or occasionally artificial structure. Generally lays four to five eggs in cup made of roots, grass, and animal hair February through June. Incubation 18 days; fledging 28-35 days.

conservation status

Not threatened. Abundant throughout its range. significance to humans

Heavily persecuted as an agricultural pest, largely because its diet includes grain, game birds, and poultry. ♦

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