The Crow

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As members of the corvid family, crows are considered to be among the most adaptable and intelligent birds in the world. Crows have a varied and evolved language. They can mimic the sounds made by other animals, and they learn to associate noises with events, especially with the distribution of food. Well-adapted to diverse habitats, crows are found across North America. They thrive in cities and suburban areas where they live in close association with humans. Crows roost at night in large flocks of up to several thousand during the winter. During the day, smaller groups may fly up to fifty miles in pursuit of food. Crows are omnivorous. They eat whatever is available to them in their habitat including insects, small amphibians and snakes, earthworms, eggs and nestling birds, and clams, mussels, and other salt-water invertebrates. They also scavenge carrion, garbage, and eat wild and cultivated fruit and vegetables. With a preference for coniferous trees, crows build their nests in woods or isolated trees at least sixty feet above ground. Nests are solidly built of branches and twigs, and are lined with bark, plant fibers, mosses, twine, and other found materials. Paired male and female crows share in the incubation of four to six eggs which hatch in eighteen days. Young first fly when they are about one month old. Frequently, at least one young bird will remain with its parents through the next nesting season to assist in the care of new nestlings by bringing them food and guarding the nest. Within recent years, crow populations have expanded in urban and suburban areas in the Northwest. Wildlife biologists suggest that the increase will soon level off because although crows can find unlimited sources of food, they have begun to run out of potential nesting sites in the area.

Coexisting With Crows

Because of their taste for corn and other agricultural crops, because they occasionally raid the nests of other birds, and because they are often accused...
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