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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

American Crow -- Corvus brachyrhynchos


RANGE: Breeds from north-central British Columbia and southwestern Mackenzie to central Quebec and southern Newfoundland south to Baja California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, central and southeastern Texas, the Gulf Coast, and southern Florida. Winters from southern Canada south throughout the breeding range.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Most often inhabits open and semiopen habitats, favoring open deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests, wooded river bottoms, groves, orchards, woodlands adjacent to agricultural land, suburban areas, parks, and woodlots.

NEST: Builds a nest, a large platform of sticks, usually on a horizontal branch or in a crotch of a tree near the trunk, 10 to 75 feet above the ground. Prefers conifers and oaks as nest trees, but where trees are lacking, will build nests on the ground, on shrubs, or on telephone pole crossbars.

FOOD: Prefers to forage in cultivated fields. Has an omnivorous diet that is three-fourths vegetable foods, including cultivated grains, seeds, wild and cultivated fruits, and nuts. Also eats insects, millipedes, spiders, small crustaceans, small reptiles, frogs, small mammals, eggs and young of birds, and carrion.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Goodwin 1976, Johnsgard 1979, Lehman in Farrand 1983b, Wilmore 1977.


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