• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      When you are in a city, pay attention to how crows are managing to survive there.  Where do you see them? What are they eating? Drinking? Where could they be nesting?  How do they interact with people? Generally, how do people in the area feel about them?
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    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Crows and ravens are frequently on the college campus where I work. People seem to be pretty neutral toward them. I most commonly see them on grassy open area and nearby trees, and enjoy seeing them.
    • Shiny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Recently, I saw a few crows in the parking lot( might be called a urban) feeding on some leftover pizzas(I am not sure if they were actually leftovers) and they weren't scared of people, they only moved when a car gets to close.  Generally, I think crows have adapted to living near people and people don't really despise them, but once a friend of mines recalled crows and birds in general as being stupid.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      One of the crows frequently seen in my community. This one flew from a tree with natural food. DSC_3853
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      In the planned community where I live, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, we have many crows. We might be described as a managed environment for the bird community. The surrounding county is rural and there is no urban area close by so we have a managed/rural kind of environment. We have a permanent population of crows that I count on eBird almost daily. As this is a very well managed community of property owners, there isn't much opportunity for the crows to get into trash or find human food, yet they can be seen or heard all about the area.  There is a lake and open areas such as the golf course and recreational areas. The crows can be seen in these areas daily. So, my guess is that the crows are getting natural food or else they are flying to areas where non-natural food can be found. There are plenty of nesting opportunities in the many tall pines in the general area. People in the community rarely comment on or complain about the crows. People in the rural surrounding area my have problems with crows raiding their crops and gardens. Thus the "scarecrow" use in the rural areas.
    • Meagan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lately most of the birds I see are around hotels and restaurants. While my area (Lafayette,la) south Louisiana, is still very rural and surrounded by wild life I find it very concerning that I'm able to identify not only common crows but fish crows as well that seem to stick to a diet of fast food cast offs.
    • Donita
      Participant
      Chirps: 80
      It's been awhile since I lived in an urban environment and I wasn't much into birds.  But what I do remember is seeing and laughing at the crows and ravens eating at dumpsters around eating establishments.  I saw them with the little plastic ketchup cups, picking at pizza boxes and left over food containers.   People seemed to just ignore them.
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I think my neighborhood is best described as urban-suburban.  It's too close to the city and too densely populated to be considered truly suburban, I think.  But there is plenty of developed green space ( I think it is 30% of the building footprint.).  The crows here build nests in the tops of tall trees, nearer the middle, as American crows do.  And they are resourceful, making use of our food waste by foraging at dumpsters and trash cans.  They seem to know certain bags and containers are likely to have food.  Some do feed birds.  Too often, however, it's a pile of dried out bread, which people are loathe to throw out. Because I live in an Islamic country, I thought it would be interesting to share how Islam might influence middle eastern attitudes toward crows.  There are a couple of mentions in the literature.  In the Koran, the crow is associated with death and mankind's first murder.  And, in the collected sayings of Muhammad, crows are listed among the five animals "for which there is no blame on the one who kills them," along with scorpions and mad dogs.  (!)  It would be hard to measure how interpretation of and regard for these sayings might actually affect attitudes -- and corvid-icide -- but there is general antipathy toward crows for more practical reasons at least, such as their territorial behavior during the breeding season, and their shenanigans at outdoor dining venues.  I, however, find even these crow behaviors interesting and endearing.  And, befriending my neighborhood crows has been a delightful project!
    • james
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Many of my coworkers and friends are either indifferent to crows, or find them a nuisance, or lastly (a small percentage) see them as a bad omen of some kind. Another small percentage of friends like them, with one or two really loving them like me. As far as the public at large, they seem ambivalent except for the odd person i see feeding them, as i like to do. I am in an urban area, but am within short distance of a very rural area .  The urban birds here definitely seem to eat many poorly nutritious foods. In fact, many groups commute daily from their roosts directy to commercial plazas where they linger alll day near parking lots, dumpsters, and drive throughs. the rural area crows gather in both large and small groups as they forage in farm fields, forests, and other green lands. They are less inclined to come up when i offer almonds or cashews than their urban counterparts. ultimately, i dont concern myself too much with what others think of them, although i do try to educate people gently about how magnificent crows are, when i can. I love crows and thats good enough for me.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I feed crows in my area, peanuts hard boiled eggs, cat food, water as well. I won't be giving the crows junk food. I haven't figured out where the nest. If I come near them when they are eating they fly off, which I expected. A neighbor a few years back was shooting at the crows in a pine tree, I know this because I came outside and saw who with the pellet rifle. He knows darn well it is a crime to kill a crow. That day there was a big flock of crows in the pine tree talking, which he didn't like. I am trying to see if I can get the crows here to work a food puzzle, out to get peanuts, so far no takers. I have gotten a response with a jar full of seeds topped off with peanuts, I put a lid on top of the jar and the crow took it off and got his/her reward.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      The urban crows do seem to be eating discarded food. We urban areas with established green spaces and forests, so I would guess they are nesting near those wooded areas. So far, people mostly ignore them as they have not become a nuisance in our area. Pigeons are the nuiscance birds in our area, and I wonder if that is what keeps the crows from forming large flocks in area.
    • I have never heard anyone except birders say something nice about crows. Most people seem unaware of them. I sometimes have seen them doing acrbatics in the air. Fascinating birds and beautiful when the sun shines on their feathers.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      We live in a classic suburban area bordered by industrial area followed by farmland. There is a pair of crows that seem to call our neighbourhood home, as well as a group of three farther down by a small plaza. I sometimes will spot five flying and I imagine it is the two groups hanging out together. We see the pair basically every day and sometimes some random others. They come to the yard, fly overhead and perch in the trees in the neighbourhood. They definitely eat roadkill and take peanuts from the feeders. I do put out meat cuttings for them, scraps from chicken and beef, which they love. There is a small pond not too far, so maybe they drink there? We have a birdbath, but I have never seen them in it, though it is well used by the other birds. The pair I am most familiar with nest right in the neighbourhood. Only twice have I been able to figure out where, both times just because I'm outside a lot with my dogs and I pay attention to where they are flying. Once it was in a tall pine in someone's backyard, they successfully fledged 3 chicks that year, and this year I was very excited to track their nest (just visually!) to another back yard tree, a very large maple, just down the street from me. Unfortunately it was hit by a grey squirrel, (an incredibly chaotic scene early one morning) but they fledged one baby successfully. By and large they do not interact with people and avoid them. They don't seem afraid, but if you get too close, they'll take off, which is probably smart. I honestly don't think anyone but me even notices them, they are just part of the landscape, though extremely unpopular with farmers. I just love them, to watch them, hear them and try to figure out what they're doing and their relationships with each other. When they brought their 3 babies to the backyard one morning during covid, I honestly got tears in my eyes, it felt like such an honour. This course has been great, I've enjoyed it very much.
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      There are plenty of neighborhood trees in the area of Chicago in which I live. These trees, along with those in our very large city parks and cemeteries, I imagine would be good places to live and nest. I have observed crows eating both natural food sources and from partially empty fast food containers on the streets. In a previous lesson, we were discouraged from referring to flocks of crows as a murder because of the negative association this brings to them. But part of the appeal of crows for me, was this historical association with death, spirits, magic, Edgar Allan Poe, gothic connections, etc...I love their black feathers and strong bills. I would much rather watch crows than the numerous sparrows that are found in town. Crows are super cool.
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I see crows in my front yard a lot. They are almost always in a small group (a family?). Before this course, I have not paid much attention to them. I will now.
    • Helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I feel like we are missing a really good meme here about country boy crows and metro crows... hehe
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      We have never heard people talk negatively about crows.
    • Diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I’ve seen crows picking through garbage in the city.  But I also see them eating road kill. I’m not sure about their water sources. I’m guessing they drink rain water puddles? Unfortunately, most people in the city seem to view crows as noisy pests, if they think about them at all.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I read that "Northwest" crows are generally smaller than other American crows in the rest of the US/Canada. Are there any hypotheses as to why that is? Geographic isolation due to the Cascade range or something environmental re: food sources. Has there been any work done in the PNW on the rural and urban differences or any work looking at some of the same parameters in NW crows vs. American crows comparing rural vs. rural for each type or urban vs. urban?
    • Lily
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      my town isn't really a city, but the crows here normally nest in any tall trees at parks, on trails, and in quieter areas. they normally eat things like trash from dumpsters, but i see them eating bugs and berries as well. they normally fly away when people approach them. people in the area don't really mind them unless they are ripping apart trash bags, because it is messy.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I work on Langley AFB, Hampton VA. where there is a healthy population of Fish Crows that nest and forage throughout the residential area of base.  A military Air Base would not be considered Rural. But then again, not exactly Urban.  More like Managed.  The Base has areas of Urbanization, Base Housing etc..... And area that could almost be considered Rural (flight line).  The Fish Crows on Langley are noticeable and not that skittish toward humans. Especially at the gas station.  I am attaching a picture of one crow that posed for me as I was filling up my car with gas. This Fish Crow was only a few feet from me standing on the gas pump and did not fly away, even after pointing my camera at him.  The people on base are tolerant of the crows.  They only become a real concern in the winter, when large flocks pass through and pose a bird strike hazard to aircraft. I have seen at least two Fish Crow nests over the past 10 years. One right next to the building where I work on power lines and the other in a live oak about 25 feet up near the hospital.MarkSopko_FishCrow2
      • Irene
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        What a beautiful close-up!
      • Karen
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Mark: Would you mind if I used your photo for a watercolor/gouache painting? The final project goes The Crow Show 2024 at The Studio Door museum. It’s a juried show. I will likely not be selected but I’d like to try. Lovely photo!
      • Mark
        Participant
        Chirps: 3

        @Karen Karen, By all means. You have my permission to use the photo I posted. I have no copyright issues. Good luck and I hope you get selected! Mark

    • Maureen
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      We have recently moved to the country where there are not that many crows, it seems. We live in a wooded area with mature maples, basswood, hickory, and a healthy understory. I have been feeding bird for 7 years in this location, black oil SF seed, suet, and peanuts. We have never had a crow at our feeders. I'm going to have to take some peanuts on my walk and see if I can entice them with some peanuts.
    • Sasha
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in a township which is more of a suburban rural area.  We have a small flock of crows here, about 150, that roost somewhere nearby. I work in the nearby city and there is a massive roost there that numbers in the thousands.  People who live nearby find their evening return fascinating. People who live under the trees that they inhabit are less than thrilled. They congregate mostly in the large old trees on the University campus and have much less fear of humans than the ones who roost in my area. You can find them in nearby parking lots or at the landfill foraging. I keep peanuts in the car just in case I meet one in the parking lot. I've been fortunate enough to have a few peanuts accepted. I live in Michigan and you are never more than a few miles from water so they are drinking from the rivers, streams and ponds around here I'm sure. There are also many people who keep bird baths, myself included, but I have not seen them use mine. Now that I know how to spot nests I see many of them around the city and township high in the deciduous trees of the area.
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I live in a city (Raleigh, NC) and the crows seem to be doing well. I haven't seen large numbers at any one time, usually only 2-3 (most often hear them calling). The most I've encountered is 4, and that was during a mile-and-half walk in a local greenway (I did not encounter all 4 at the same time, but at different point during my walk). Raleigh has lots of trees, especially oaks, and the greenways are usually around creeks, so there is lots of natural food available (as well as junk food in trash cans, dumpsters and the landfill). I haven't noticed them nesting (I need to look for their nests), nor I have noticed much in the way of interactions with people. I have no idea how people around here feel about crows. I expect I'd hear a lot if we had a large roosting area.  I've also seen crows at the Outer Banks but most of those are Fish Crows. The Outer Banks also have a variety of food (both natural and junk), plenty of fresh water, and I'm sure the crows are nesting there but I don't know where. I haven't seen any these coastal crows interact with people, but I'm never there in the summer when such interactions might be more likely (lots more people who eat junk food in the summer). I've seen more interactions between gulls and people. By the way, I grew up in the Los Angeles area and crows were very rare while I was living there. Sometime long after I moved out, my mother began to comment about the number of crows appearing in the neighborhood (this was probably in the 90's when she starting noticing the crows). Don't know if it is coincidence or not, but my mother also commented that many of the smaller songbirds had disappeared - Western Tanager for example. She was noticing a much smaller variety of birds. The only birds that seemed to remain constant were Mourning Doves and House Sparrows.
    • alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      I live in a lakeside area that is close to a 4 lane highway with some strip malls - like Ithaca in some ways.  The strip mall area i would call suburban crows while closer to the lake are borderline rural (even though there are ample homes) in the more rural area i am speaking of - there are protected areas and woods and lake water and areas where crows may live rather than in a yard next door.  If this all makes sense... i hope that it does.  Basically there is protected land parcels throughout and some vast areas for crows to live. The crows that i have recently seen at the strip mall area are ones that i always see hanging out near the dumpsters of a near by McDonalds.  They dumpster dive quite often and grab whatever garbage they can from either the dumpsters filled with product of business or smaller garbage bins filled with product of consumer consumption.  These mall-rat type of crows are loud, talkative and spend most of the day organizing scavenger activities.  They make a mess...so i am guessing most people are annoyed by this - just as they are about seagulls who do the same. Currently i believe that the group of people i know - they are not fans of crows because they are ‘loud, bossy - and can make a bigger mess of our mess’. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SUMMER to observe these birds again this summer when i move back! I have a friend from Ireland who HATES crows because they are the symbol of death - i never heard that before recently.  She likely wont change her knee jerk opinion of them.