Family: (Corvidae) Crows and Jays
Preferred Habitat: Almost anywhere, including urban settings, woodlands and open country
Seasonal Occurrence: Abundant throughout the year.
Profile by Richard Gibbons: Their large size and all black body and bill make crows easy to spot. You can find them nearly anywhere: in the quiet of a Houston Audubon sanctuary, or in forests, beaches, farms, parking lots or garbage dumps. They are omnivorous, opportunistic feeders with a diet including, but not limited to, seeds, fruit, insects, small mammals, carrion, and garbage.
Crows are sometimes used in books or movies to create an ominous setting. Their loud, hoarse caw, dark body, and tendency to eat roadkill (which is actually only a very small part of their diet) make it easy to see why. They are very aggressive and will work together to mob predators.
While the American Crow has classically been seen as intimidating, it is also a very interesting species. Their conspicuousness in everyday life and air of intelligence has made them ripe for scientific study. Research and observation has shown that they can sometimes make and use tools, will use distraction to steal food from other animals, and can recognize faces. They are very social animals and will form large communal roosts in the winter with thousands of crows. In many groups the young will help their parents raise the new chicks for a few years. Whether you find them frightful or fascinating, the American Crow is a bird that demands attention.