American Crow | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

American Crow | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

American Crow Overview


The American Crow is a large, all-black bird with a robust and stocky body. It features a distinctive black beak, dark eyes, and strong legs. Their feathers have a glossy, iridescent quality that reflects shades of blue and purple in the right light.

American Crows typically have a length of about 17 to 21 inches (43 to 53 cm) and a wingspan of 32 to 39 inches (81 to 99 cm). They are known for their sleek and entirely black appearance, making them easily recognizable.

Origins And Evolution

The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) has a long and intriguing evolutionary history within the Corvidae family. Originating in North America, they belong to the genus Corvus, which encompasses various crow species.

Over millennia, they have adapted to a diverse range of environments, including forests, urban areas, and farmlands. American Crows are characterized by their intelligence and social behavior, evolving to thrive as omnivorous scavengers.

Their evolution reflects their ability to exploit a wide array of food sources, adapt to human-altered landscapes, and establish complex social structures within their flocks.

Behavior and Lifestyle

The American Crow is a highly adaptable and intelligent bird known for its complex behaviors and social interactions. They are often found in large, communal roosts, especially during the non-breeding season, where they engage in vocal communication and establish hierarchies.

American Crows have a diverse diet, consisting of carrion, insects, small mammals, and even human-provided food. They are opportunistic and resourceful foragers, using tools in some instances to obtain food. Their agile flight and keen problem-solving abilities contribute to their successful lifestyle as scavengers and predators.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Corvus
  • Species: Corvus brachyrhynchos


  • North America
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Central America
  • Caribbean Islands

Fast Facts

  • Name: American Crow
  • Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Habitat: Diverse Environments
  • Diet: Omnivorous Scavenger
  • Physical Features: Glossy Black
  • Nocturnal: Diurnal, NocturnalSolitary: Often Social
  • Unique Order: Passeriformes
  • Lifespan: 7-8 Years
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Fun Facts: Intelligent Problem-Solvers, Vocal Communication

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Glossy Black
  • Skin Type: Feathers Cover
  • Top Speed: Agile Flight
  • Lifespan: 7-8 Years
  • Weight: Medium-sized
  • Length: 17-21 Inches
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 2 Years
  • Age of Weaning: 35 Days

American Crow FAQs

What distinguishes American Crows from other crow species?

American Crows are known for their all-black plumage and their distinctive cawing calls.

What is the significance of their communal roosts?

Communal roosts serve various functions, including protection from predators and social interaction.

Are they known for their intelligence?

Yes, American Crows are highly intelligent birds, capable of problem-solving and tool use.

What do they eat in urban areas?

In urban environments, they often scavenge human-provided food, such as garbage and discarded items.

Do American Crows have a specific mating ritual?

They engage in courtship displays, including aerial acrobatics and mutual grooming.

Are they migratory birds?

While some populations may migrate seasonally, many American Crows are non-migratory.

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