American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Crow

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Corvidae | [latin] Corvus brachyrhynchos | [UK] American Crow | [FR] Corneille d’amerique | [DE] Amerikanerkrahe | [ES] Cuervo Americano | [NL] Amerikaanse Krai


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Corvus brachyrhynchos NA widespread
Corvus brachyrhynchos brachyrhynchos
Corvus brachyrhynchos hargravei
Corvus brachyrhynchos hesperis
Corvus brachyrhynchos pascuus

Physical charateristics

A large, chunky, ebony bird. Completely black; glossed with purplish in strong sunlight. Bill and feet strong and black. Often gregarious.

Listen to the sound of American Crow

[audio: Crow.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 85 cm wingspan max.: 100 cm
size min.: 40 cm size max.: 53 cm
incubation min.: 16 days incubation max.: 18 days
fledging min.: 20 days fledging max.: 40 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 9  


North America : widespread


Woodlands, farms, fields, river groves, shores, towns.
Lives in a wide variety of semi-open habitats, from farming country and open fields to clearings in the woods. Often found on shores, especially where Fish Crow and Northwestern Crow do not occur. Avoids hot desert zones. Is adapting to towns and ev
en cities, now often nesting in city parks.


In courtship on ground or in tree, male faces female, fluffs up body feathers, partly spreads wings and tail, and bows repeatedly while giving short rattling song. Mated pairs perch close together, touching bills and preening each other’s feathers. Breedi
ng pair may be assisted by “helpers,” their offspring from previous seasons.
Nest: Site is in tree or large shrub, 10-70′ above the ground. Rarely nests on ground or on build
ing ledge. Nest (built by both sexes) is a large bulky basket of sticks, twigs, bark strips, weeds, and mud, lined with softer material such as grass, moss, plant fibers, feathers.
Eggs: 4-6, sometimes 3-9. Dull blue-green to gray-green, blotched with brown and gray. Incubation is probably mostly or entirely by female, about 18 days.
Young: Fed by both parents and sometimes by “helpers.” Young leave nest about 4-5 weeks after hatching.

Feeding habits

Seems to feed on practically anything it can find, including insects, spiders, snails, earthworms, frogs, small snakes, shellfish, carrion, garbage, eggs and young of other birds, seeds, grain, berries, fruit.
Opportunistic, quickly taking advantage of new food sources. Feeds mostly on the ground, sometimes in trees. Scavenges along roads and at dumps. Will carry hard-shelled mollusks high in air and drop them on rocks to brea
k them open. Indigestible parts of food are coughed up later as pellets.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
American Crow status Least Concern


Canada to southern United States, northern Baja California. Partially migratory in the North. Migration:
Permanent resident in many areas; withdraws in fall from northern regions, and flocks spend the winter in some areas a short distance south of the breeding range.

Distribution map

American Crow distribution range map

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