Some distinct features separate it from the other passerine species known as the Common Raven and Fish Crow. Their call and their prismatic colors are some of the unique features that are interesting to notice. Their small curved beak has been given the name Brachy Rhynchos, meaning short bill crow.
These crows grow up to a length of 40-50 cm and have a pure black beak, legs, and feet. The tail of these birds is square and almost sweeps the ground as they walk. The feathers are as long as 27-34 cm, while the bill is 5 cm in length. The male is taller and larger compared to the females.
- This crow has the ability to count and is intelligent enough to solve puzzles or problems.
- They are quick at grasping different sounds of animals and birds and mimicking them.
- Crows build nests in pines, cottonwoods and oaks which are built out of twigs, stems and sticks. Their nests go up to a height of 18-60 feet. The nesting phase is observed during the spring season.
- The bird reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2, while some even begin to breed at 4 years of age. Some young crows help to bring up the young ones and a family may include 15 individuals.
- The diet of a crow varies from insects, mice, earthworms to fruits and nuts. As their beak is too short to pierce through the skin of dead animals, they either have to wait for another bird or animal to tear open the carcass of the prey or wait for it to decompose and become soft. They feed on eggs and nestlings of sparrows, terns, robins, loons and eiders.
- As per research, this crow is known to suffer from the West Nile virus that has the tendency to kill the bird within a week. This has brought down the population of this species of crows.
- Though these birds live in the United States, some of them still migrate to distant places during winters.
- The Eastern Crow, Western Crow, Florida Crow and Southern Crow are the four sub-species recognized under this kind of crow species.
- A flock of crows live together during the breeding and nesting season and maintain the family for years.
- They come together in roosts to rest or sleep. The roosts consist of around 2 million crows. They also maintain the same resting place for 100 years.
These species of bird are widely spread over from British Columbia to Southern California and even Florida. They are large in number and a very common bird species. Due to their adaptability to different habitats, they have become a menace to common people.
In order to cut down the nuisance of these birds, measures have been taken to eliminate them from public areas. Though these birds are large in number, they are still protected under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918.