Friday, January 4, 2008

Blackbird Crow

The American Crow (Corvus braychyrhynchos) is a jet blackbird crow, closely related to the raven. The crow’s call sounds like “caw”. This social bird sometimes gathers in flocks of many hundreds of blackbird crows. When large groups of crows are feeding, there will often be one or two “sentinels” who are on the lookout for danger. The crow is an all black bird about 18-22 inches long. It has a square-shaped tail and pointed wings. The American crow is an omnivore; it eats plants and animals. It eats insects, grains, fruit, other birds’ eggs and small land and aquatic animals.

The blackbird crow’s nest is a cup of twigs and sticks lined with grass, bark, pine needles and moss. Nests are located high in a tree or utility pole. Eggs are bluish-greenish marked with brown and gray. Females lay 3-7 eggs in each clutch. Both parents incubate the eggs, which hatch in about 17 days. The young are able to fly in roughly 3 weeks.

The American blackbird crow is the most widespread and familiar of the four species of crow found in North America. It ranges from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, and from the southeastern edge of Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, absent only from the deserts and treeless shortgrass prairies of the American West. Its genus name Corvus means crow and the species name braychyrhynchos means ‘short beak’ which it has, atleast in comparison with its relative the raven. In addition they are omnivorous, eating many types of grains and fruits and any animal they can catch. The electic crow will eat corn, road killed opossum, baby mice, earthworms, sumac fruits, nestling birds, frogs, fish, grasshoppers, dead deer, or old French fries. They will eat whatever is available.

People often have strong opinions about blackbird crows. Some are fond of them; perhaps because the crow’s apparent intelligence makes it more humanlike than most other birds. Most other people generally hate crows. The usual reasons given are that they are noisy, or that they kill little birds. However, even when people are given the facts about the crow’s place in the natural world and the small actual impact they have on agriculture or songbird populations, most people continue to cling to their negative impressions of crows. Similar negative feelings about many crow species can be found throughout the world. The factors that seem to have the greatest negative impact on people are the crows’ appearance: big and black, ugly and evil looking. One thing is fro sure: No matter how people feel, the blackbird crow is not going to disappear from the urban or rural scene. And with a better understanding of this amazingly adaptable and somewhat humanlike bird will come a more positive opinion of its place in our world.