The American crow (Corvus Brachyrhynchos) is a member of the genus Corvus. It is generally between 17 and 20 inches in length, completely black with a slight purple sheen and a squared off tail. It makes a distinctive cawing noise, which is where the name crow comes from. Not to be mistaken for it's larger cousin the raven or any of the other corvids.
They live in large groups and are equally at home in the countryside and the city. They are omnivorous and some crows have been known to fly upwards of 50 miles in a day to find food. Crows are often considered pests as they will eat freshly sown seeds and the eggs or hatchlings of other birds. Despite this they are also helpful to farmers as they eat many of the small bugs and rodents that cause damage to crops.
During the mating season the crows pair off and build nests between 20 and 60 feet up. Both adults are involved in building the nest and looking after the eggs and young. They lay between 3 and 7 greenish eggs with brown or grey spots. These hatch in around 18 days, and the baby crows can fly in about 3 weeks.
In general American crows only migrate a few hundred miles every year, but some are know to migrate up to 1400 miles from central Canada to the midwestern USA for the winter.
Crows are among the most intelligent species of bird. They have the largest brains of any bird, when compared to body size, and have been observed to be capable of a large number of intelligent behaviours, such as counting, learning, and using tools. They are often seen breaking walnuts under the wheels of cars, since the walnuts soft outer shell prevents them from breaking when dropped from great heights. One British crow expert (Sylvia Bruce Wilmore) even found her pet crow picking up her dogs leash and leading him around the garden. They also like to play catch with small stones or twigs and enjoy showing off their acrobatic skills to other crows.