Did you know?
- Crows and Ravens are part of the same family, or group of birds called Corvids.
- Crows live in large extended families and the young will sometimes stay around to help raise baby brothers and sisters.
- Baby crows always are born with light blue eyes, which turn to dark brown or black as they get older.
Looks and sounds
Crows have dark brown and black eyes, thick black beaks and black legs and feet. While their feathers appear to be completely black, in sunlight you can often see other colors such as purple, green or blue. The most common sound crows make is a harsh "caw." They also make other sounds like rattles, coos, and clear single notes.
Home sweet home
Crows can live just about anywhere from the country to the big city. Crows especially like a mix of habitat with open areas for finding food and trees for perching to rest, raise young and escape danger. Crows only use nests during the spring when they are raising babies. The rest of the year they roost, or sleep at night in the protection of trees.
During the spring and summer, when crow families are raising young, they stay close to the nest. The female usually lays three to six eggs that are pale bluish green with brown spots. While she keeps the eggs warm, her mate or kids from the year before will bring her food.
Young crows grow quickly. They are ready to leave their nest in about four weeks. However, they still can't fly well and depend on their parents for food and protection for at least another month. Like most parents, crows are very protective of their young. They will fly after and attack animals, other birds or people if they think their babies are in danger. The crows are not trying to be mean; they are just protecting their family.
As the young get older and the summer ends, crows start to travel farther and will spend time in larger groups.
Crows are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals. Crows will often eat seeds, nuts, earthworms, bugs, mice, other birds, road kill, eggs, fruit and garbage. Crows who live near salt water will drop mussels and clams from high in the sky to break them on the rocks below so they can eat the meat inside. Crows also need fresh water for bathing and drinking. Sometimes crows will also use water to soften food for their young.
Crows at PAWS
Many young crows are brought to PAWS because people think they are orphans. Usually these young crows are just leaving their nest and learning to fly. If the young crows are in good health, they are sent back to where they were found so they can be reunited with their parents. If they are not in good health, PAWS will care for them until they are healthy enough to release back into the wild. PAWS will also care for adult crows who have been hit by cars, attacked by cats or intentionally harmed by humans. Once they are healed, PAWS will release them back into the wild.
If your family is having a conflict with crows, or you find a crow you think is injured or orphaned, you can get free help by calling the PAWS Wildlife Center at 425.412.4040. Be sure to also check out these solutions to common problems with wildlife.
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