American Crow

photo by Joe Watts

In Alabama during: Fall | Spring | Summer | Winter

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Corvus brachyrhynchos

OTHER NAMES: Common crow

STATUS: Breeder. Common in all seasons in all inland regions. In Gulf Coast region, uncommon to fairly common in all seasons. Lowest Conservation Concern.

DESCRIPTION: At 17 to 21 inches, Corvus brachyrhynchos is the largest of the three subspecies of crow found in North America. The two smaller subspecies, the northwestern (Corvus caurinus) and fish crow (Corvus ossifragus) are typically found near the shore. Due to similar appearance, the American crow can be mistaken for a raven. However, ravens are typically larger in size and have a wedge-shaped tail. Crows have a slight hook on the end of the black bill, and strong black legs and feet. Their rounded wings, tail, and glossy black appearance distinguish them from ravens. The call is easily recognizable as a loud, carrying “caw, caw, caw.” The male and female are similar in appearance and voice. Young crows are similar in size to the adult but have blue eyes and pink inside the mouth. The wings and tail feathers of the young can become brown and ragged through their first winter and spring, and then become darker like the adult after their first molt.


Learn more from Cornell’s All About Birds