• Earl
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Question 2.  I am located in Charleston, SC and have only seen the American Crow here.  I started feeding a murder of crows nearby our church, and now they come flocking to my car every time I come to church!  Once, a crow followed me from a coffee shop where I had purchased a coffee and met me at my church in the parking lot looking for food.  He/she must have been familiar enough with my truck and my voice to know that I was the person who fed them!
    • Maureen
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Question 3: I live northwest of the northwest tip of Lake Ontario in Halton Region, Ontario, about 20 km from the lake. In the past 3-4 years, we have both seen and heard ravens as well as crows in our area, winter and summer. Love that loud echoing croak they make! They now seem to be nesting a little further south than your range map indicates. There have been reports of others seeing them as well. The crows don't seem to appreciate having the ravens around as they mob them a bit. They are easy to tell apart by size when seen together but I can now use tail and wing shape to ID them when they fly over without the crow mob. Question 4: Last year we had a Cooper's hawk nest near our house. Crows would have harassed it and likely prevented the Robin nest predation. That hawk ate every chick. I don't begrudge it though. We have many many robins. I worried a bit more about the Indigo buntings I saw being chased by that hawk but I was VERY impressed with their dodging flight through thick branches until the hawk got tired and gave up!
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      1. Your neighbor is complaining about the American Crows killing all the songbird nestlings.  What would you say to him/her? One of the findings of a meta-analysis of nest predators was that squirrels and snakes are far more likely to prey on songbird nestlings than crows, which ranked almost last, just above white-tailed deer.  Also, crows are technically songbirds because they are members of Passeriformes, so the net impact on songbirds as a group is zero if a crow preys on songbird nestlings. 2. Where have you seen American Crows?  Based on what you learned in this lesson, see if you can locate a crow’s nest (keeping a respectful distance) and share what you found. I see crows everywhere there is human development. There are several crow territories on the university campus near my home. Every nesting season, the birds harass people as they pass through their territories. It's always startling to feel them hit your head, but also thrilling. 3. You’ve seen the range map for the American Crow.  Here is the range map for Common Ravens. Do you live where there are both species?  If so, can you now distinguish between them? What differences have you noticed in their behavior? There is overlap where I live in Seattle, but I have only seen ravens on one occasion, which coincidentally was today. On very first sight, I id'd the pair of ravens as hawks due to wingspan and shape, but realized they were ravens from color and bill shape/size as they flew closer. I was lucky enough to see ravens regularly when I lived in Southern California, and it was always easy to tell from crows by the fact that they were more often in open natural spaces, soaring and in pairs, whereas crows more often use powered flight and are in more developed areas. 4. What birds and other animals might benefit from having crows around? Why? How? Crows make it very well-known when a raptor is around and even drive them off, so anything that might be taken as a prey item by any kind of raptor benefits from having crows around. Owls, such as GHOW who do not construct their own nests, also benefit from crows by using their old nests. Parasites also benefit from the social behavior of crows as behaviors like allopreening provide dispersal opportunities.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. They may kill song bird nestling but other animals are a lot worst like squirrel, racoon and some species of insects. 3. American crow live in large number of individual mostly compared to raven which is not living in large number. 2. In coming days I will get out and try to find a american crow nest. 4. Insects and scavenger animal when American crow leave a carcass of a dead animal. Note: sorry for my english .
    • Rosemarie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My neighbor is complaining about crows eating baby birds.  I would tell him that's  statistically not true.  they are only a 1-2 % predator of baby birds.  Over 50% of nests with babies are eaten by snakes and squirrels or chipmunks.
    • Via
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      These are my answers for questions 1 and 2: 1. I would tell my neighbor that crows are at the bottom of the scale for eating songbird chicks. I would let him/her know that snakes, squirrels and chipmunks all eat more songbird chicks than crows do. 2. I have seen them only at my house scavenging the leftover birdseed and planning to get nestlings. For me, I find that smart, even though they have never succeeded, but, they have gotten very close to doing it.
      • Lisa
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Those are great photos. Where do you live?
    • nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
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      • Tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Amazing picture. Thank you for sharing, Nancy!
      • Joseph
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        That is so cool!
    • Sallie
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      1.  I would educate my neighbor that Crows are at the bottom of the scale for song birds nestlings.  I'd let him/her know that Snakes, Squirrels and Chipmunks all eat more songbird nestlings than Crows do. 2. I've seen a lot of Crows flying over my house here in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  Maybe now I can look for features to help me identify the, accurately. 3.  It doesn't appear that I live where Ravens are common year round.  If I see something that I think may be a Raven I'll know now to look to see if it has  "diamond shaped tail," and I'll look to see if it has a long beak. 4.  I've noticed that Crows "announce" their presence, and that may be helpful to letting songbirds and Squirrels know when possible "danger" may be around.  Other birds may benefit from the Crows ability to hunt for food and letting other birds know where the food is.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. People have strong opinions about all sorts of wildlife, and just like we have experienced in politics, you will not change their minds. My immediate neighbor rarely notices wildlife, but for the most part the opinions are negative. But I keep trying. I was fascinated to read about which animals are guilty of nest predation, since I have recognized for a while now, that most wildlife eat whatever they can get. There are fewer vegetarians out there than we think. I was mildly surprised about White-tailed deer, but hunger and opportunity generally win. I'd love to learn more. I really think a dislike of Corvids is something people form early. They don't like large, noisy flocks of birds during migration covering the lawns and trees, and many think of birds as dirty. I accept all birds, even our two invasives - European Starlings and House Sparrows.  I know this is an unpopular opinion. And there is nothing I can do about hordes of squirrels living where I do and with the number of trees around, so they all get to eat.   2 & 3. In Northeast Ohio, where I live, our Corvids are generally limited to American Crows and Blue Jays. However, in the winter, there are a few shopping plazas that are visited by large flocks of American Crows and within 20 miles of my home, Fish Crows.  Much closer to me - 10 minutes - we have had Fish Crows as well. I like to visit the plaza and listen to the Crows since a Fish Crow is hard to distinguish from an American Crow unless they are immediately adjacent. In my local patch we have a smaller roost area that I have not located. I just see the large flock rising at certain times of day. Ravens sometimes visit in Ohio, but I did not find them when I visited their reported site. On the other hand I have very poor skills in flight ID. I keep working on it. 4. I benefit from Corvids. I love the different calls they make. I have a Blue Jay near me who has been mastering his Red-shouldered Hawk call (it's fooling me more each year) and witnessed a Jay with a Titmouse song that was truly perfect. An actual titmouse was responding to it.  If I use Jays and Crows to clue me in about possible raptors and owls, it's obvious the other creatures do as well. I get more Jays giving warnings than Crows, and the birds always react. If it's really a serious threat, the crows pile in and even the smaller songbirds will fly to the possible enemy to harass and chirp.  Crows and Jays also do this to clear the feeders so they can take over.  It's always a good day when there is so much to observe
    • kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1  I have never witnessed a crow eating a baby bird or invading a nest.  We live in the piedmont area of the blue ridge mountains. We have black snakes and they love to get into nests and bird houses.  We often use a snake guard to keep them out. 2. We have tonnage of crow where we live.  I have had admiration and curiosity about them for years.  I grew up on a farm in North Dakota and my dad used to put “boomers” in his sunflower fields to keep the crow out.  We live in Virginia and I feed the crow.  A friend who has a wildlife rescue sanctuary suggested I feed them dog food instead of “scraps”.  They know when I am coming and call to each other that breakfast is ready.  They do not want to be my friends as much as I would like that. 3 we do have both species of crows and ravens.  Only recently have they been showing themselves.  Otherwise you would need to go up into the blue ridge mountains to glimpse them.  A few years ago I thought I heard one and keep hoping to see one.  In the past couple years I actually see them flying overhead, riding the currents.  Their voice definitely identifies them when you can’t see them. 4 they definitely keep track of what’s happening in the area and are not shy about sharing their info.  Love them!
    • 1. Your cat kills more songbirds than a crow does! 3. Yes! When you see their size it's easiest to tell. The tail is hard to distinguish in flight to tell them apart. 4. Alerting smaller birds and mice to danger from hawks or other predators.
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live a mile from the Pablo Wildlife (wildfowl) Refuge. It seems that sometimes the crows or ravens I see just fly for fun. You can't explain their amazing flight patterns, especially in pairs (!) as "looking for food". The pairs so often look like synchronized flying and then somersaults in mid air like Roller Pigeons (my neighbor has 50 Roller Pigeons). Maybe this course will talk about this flying-for-fun thing
    • Val
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      If people don't blame crows, then they point the finger at blue jays. Now I know to advise all these crow haters that crows are not the major predators on infant songbirds, that squirrels and snakes are. And many other birds benefit from crows' mobbing behavior, where they point out where owls and hawks are hiding via their loud calls and rapid flying around a raptor on a perch.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      3. I live in north central Illinois, outside the range of the Common Ravens. Our home is on a wooded 7.5 acres, across the road from nearly 1,800 acres of forest preserves (four of them, contiguous). The newest forest preserve was until recently covered by large areas of cultivated corn and soybeans. It will take several years for that land to be returned to prairie, as planned. So, although I haven’t seen or heard crows near our property, I suspect there are some in the forest preserve, and I’m planning to search for a roost in the woods. Since the fall harvest was completed only in late November, there should be plenty food for the crows to forage, still. I hope so. The American Crow has been my favorite bird for many years, and I’m eager to observe them more closely and knowledgeably after taking this course. I’d also love to attract some to our yard, even though I know they are not known as feeder birds. If there were also Common Ravens, I think I could distinguish them now.    
    • Suzan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  Research on predators of songbird nests indicates that crows are not frequent predators, though they do at times engage in this behavior.  Snakes and squirrels are much more likely to invade nests and destroy eggs and nestlings.  2.  I have seen American crows frequently in my yard and all around the area where we live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.  I have not spotted a crow's nest.  3. I live in an area where there are both species, but I do not believe I have seen a raven - or perhaps I was just unable to identify one.  The crows I see most often are around our property.  I notice them often under our bird feeders or picking up livestock feed that we set out for wild animals.  4. I believe that our songbirds may benefit from the presence of crows, because they all a danger alert.  We have hawks nearby, and I have seen crows chase the hawks.
    • 1. I would tell them that all the chipmunks and squirrels running around the yard are the bigger culprits. I would also refer them to the chart shown in the lesson if they were interested. 2. I have seen a lot of crows in town (Langley, WA) Usually hanging around close to where people are dining outside. I have also seen a lot of them in particular trees. They seem to have their favorites. It is the wrong time of year for nesting. 3. We have both Ravens and crows where I live. The crows are mostly in town, and the Ravens farther out. Where our house is we are lucky enough to have both grace our yard. The crows usually come in large groups and often seem to be up to something, as the ravens are often just 2-3 individuals. I do love the raven vocalizations and wing beats. 4. We have lots of owls in our area, I would imagine they benefit from the nests crows build. I know we benefit from having the crows keep the rodents in check. The crows are also pretty good about letting everyone know if there is an eagle in the area.
    • Dennis
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      1. I would point out that grey squirrels and chipmunks, which are quite abundant here, are by far worse predators than the crows. 2. There is a family of crows that frequents our compost pile, and has for many years. They are quite familiar with me and will often fly  from the field out beyond our yard when they see me through the window getting ready to go outside. They will also sit in the trees outside the house and call until I come out with the compost. I have also located their nest high in a pine tree about 1/4 mile away (as the crow flies). 3. There are both Ravens and Crows where e live in Maine. The Crows seem more gregarious and social, traveling in small groups; while the Ravens usual travel alone or in pairs. 4. Almost every other creature that is subject to predation by large predatory birds or mammals will benefit by the presence of crows. The crows very readily announce the presence of hawks, owls, cats, fox or coyotes in the area by mobbing and frantically "yelling".  Sometimes you can even tell by how they mob what predator is around. For instance, there was a fox that was coming to our compost one spring, not for the compost but the mice. The crows would follow the fox down through the woods hanging low in the trees and raising quite a fuss. We could almost predict when the fox would come around the shed by the movement of the rows.  By contrast, hawks will usually freeze high in the trees and crows will mob from above and dive bomb them, so there isn't a lot of lateral movement until the hawk (or owl) decides to make a run for it to escape.
    • Bonny
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I was surprised to read in "All about birds"  they will "eat almost anything...and chicks they rob from nests."  It seems to contradict what I just learned here.
      • Dennis
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        I believe there can be a lot of variability from year to year and even from individual crow to individual crow. We have always had lots of grackles nesting in the tops of a tall cedar hedge in our yard; and one year there was a family of crows that included an individual that was much larger than the others. This individual was very aggressive in its predation on the grackles whose nests were easy targets. It's aggressiveness and size led me to give it the nickname "Black Marauder". None of the other crows appeared to participate in these attacks.  That crow has long since passed on and we only occasionally see  this kind of behavior from the crows in our neighborhood.  I have also seen some of the many chipmunks in our yard eat Robin's eggs and young.
    • Anne-Marie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      2.  I live in Vancouver BC, Canada and crows are around me all day long. They visit us on our deck and we watch their behaviour with their young ones and families. Here is a picture from Christmas, 2 years ago, of a pair who are regulars at our home.  They are very loving to each other and so sweet to watch.  Every morning the crows fly into Vancouver from Burnaby, east of here,2AD862E5-AE31-4448-B1B0-A755C7042886 where they roost each evening. Just before dusk, they fly back to Burnaby together for the evening. It is so beautiful to watch them in the sky fly to the roost and back to us
      • Sallie
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Thanks for that nice picture.  I've also noticed that Crows can really relate to each other.  It must have been nice to have that pair visit you frequently.
      • Tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        This brought a smile to my face. Thanks.
    • Isabelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. Based on the research it's clear that although crows are predators of songbird young, they are not a main predator and in fact squirrels/snakes are much more detrimental to songbird populations. Many animals eat young birds, might not be fair to penalize the crow for this! I actually hadn't held this against crows, not realizing this was a stigma some people had about this bird. I usually think of hawks and other birds of prey when it comes to eating baby birds.   3. I'm in MA where we have lots of crows and some ravens. I've only seen two here, and only identified them by their very different call. Learning the other ways of differentiating them is so helpful- especially the long shiny feathers on their chest.
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I live in Portland, Oregon, and sometimes it seems that there are more crows here than people. They fly toward the Willamette River as the sun sets and then away from the river in the morning. At dusk, before their trip downtown, dozens hang out in the trees near where I live (2 miles east of the river) and hoot and holler. One evening I was by the river as the sun set and saw hundreds if not thousands of crows. Years back, a friend was staying at a hotel downtown and couldn't believe the nonstop stream of crows that flew by her 8th floor window. If I recall the map correctly, there are no crows in Seattle. That is sad. People who have lived here a long time say that there are many more crows now. The only raven I remember seeing was at Death Valley and it was huge.
    • 1. Crows are one of the wonderful sentinels that are always alerting us to what is happening in the neighborhood. Listening to them often tells us where the predators are working. 4. I live outside Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. We have both Crows and Ravens in this area, despite the range map not quite including us. There were a pair of Ravens in the 20-acre woodlot behind my house this summer and numerous crows loved to roost in this area during the fall. Is the territory of Ravens changing? Any idea of the key factors influencing the change?
    • Keith
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live in Calgary, Alberta approximately a one-hour drive from the Rocky Mountains and the famous  resort town of Banff.  Given that we are in the Foothills region of the Rocky Mountains, we get a healthy population of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, Blue Jays and Stellar Jays each spring and summer.  Some of those birds will winter in the Calgary area, but many more will migrate south.  As described in the course material we find the crows to be highly social and gregarious, not to mention noisy.  They are also very skilled flyers and at times seem to take to the air simply to enjoy flying and practicing their aerobatics.  The ravens we have around are much more solitary and not nearly so noisy.  They generally sit on a higher vantage point and watch carefully for any food they may spot, such as road kill, a plastic garbage bag, etc.  I normally spend a fair bit of time in the outdoors (mountains and plains) and, as noted in the course materials, we often rely on the calls of the crow or a nervous squirrel to warn us of anything unusual that may be on the trail ahead.  Of course, they also tell all other birds and animals where we are, too.
    • p
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      if my neighbor is complaining about crows killing songbirds, I think I would share the information graph from this first lesson and suggest putting out some dog food for them to eat instead :) I have lots of crows around my house, and have seen nesting pairs make nests in coniferous and deciduous trees, about 20+ feet up. I have seen both crows and ravens where I live (central BC), but crows are definitely more common.  Ravens seem to like being near water (the local river, and lots more closer to the ocean). Other creatures that would benefit from having crows around are:  my family dog, as he waits for the crows to flip the lid off of the garbage cans, and tip them over.  then he can get right in there and feast! I know other birds like having crows around because they chase off the squirrels.  I've never seen crows predating on the other birds in my yard, but maybe that's because they are finding food elsewhere (like my garbage can, and the dogfood I put out for them).
    • jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I would suggest that blue jays might be the culprit who is stealing baby birds from the nest. I have seen that happen on more than one occasion.  Also, squirrels are known to predate on birds nest on both the eggs and nestlings.