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Critter Spotlight: American Crow: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Good Morning Watershed Explorers,

Have you ever seen a crow? I am going to bet that you answered yes. Crows are a very common bird in North America. They range all over the United States and are found in every state in New England. Here is a photo of the American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos.

Crows are extremely intelligent. They have been found to play, exercise self-control, create tools, and be able to recognize faces as shown in this video on the show Nature from PBS

Crows are omnivores, and they aren't picky. They will eat anything from earth worms, to seeds, to insects, to carrion (dead animal flesh), and even garbage. Crows beaks are not good for tearing, however, so if they do want to eat something that requires tearing, they await another animal to do the tearing work for them and then swoop in and eat what is left. Crows have also been known to use their intelligence to trick other animals into giving up their food. There is an interesting story about a group of crows that distracted a river otter and stole its fish.

The basic habitat of a crow is an open woodland, but they can be found anywhere from city treetops to empty beaches. Much like their food, crows aren't very picky about where they live! Keep a lookout when you go outside, there is a very good chance that you will spot a crow.

Here are a few more interesting facts about crows:

* Their lifespan is 7-8 years

* They have 3-9 eggs in each clutch

* They have pale blue to olive green eggs with brown or grey blotches on the large ends

* They are very social birds and are seen more in groups than alone

I hope that you learned a little more about the American crow. A common bird with extra special intelligence.

Much love my friends,

Mrs. Morissette

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