Crow Facts
Crow Facts

24 Crazy Crow Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published October 16, 2023
  • In scientific classification, there is no difference between crows and ravens.[3]
  • During the winter, crows congregate to sleep in communal roosts, numbering from a few hundred birds to two million. Some roosts have been forming for over 100 years.[6]
  • Ravens and crows belong to the same family, but they differ in several ways. Ravens have a larger bill, a different tail shape, and a different flight pattern. By comparison, ravens are as big as red-tailed hawks, and crows are about the size of pigeons.[5]
  • Though they have large bills, crows are not able to break through even thin skin. They must either wait for something else to open a carcass first or for the carcass to become tender through decomposition.[6]
  • Crows are able to make and use tools. They have even been observed making cups to carry water.[6]
  • Crow Intelligence Fact
    Crows can remember the faces of humans and even other birds
  • Crows remember human faces and hold grudges. They can even pass their anger on to other crows.[4]
  • Crows belong to the corvidae family, which also includes ravens, rooks, jays, magpies, jackdaws, nutcrackers, treepies, and choughs. Corvids have the largest brain-to-body size ratio of any bird species.[5]
  • Crows can complete puzzles and have the mental capacity of a seven-year-old child.[1]
  • Crows are deeply embedded in human culture and myth. Crows symbolize death, danger, and illness while also paradoxically symbolizing rebirth, loyalty, and intelligence.[7]
  • Crows will "mob" larger predators, such as owls and hawks, and will call in other crows to join the attack.[7]
  • Crows have over 250 different calls.[11]
  • Crows show a behavior called "anting," where they rub ants on their feathers. The ants secrete formic acid, which acts as a repellent against parasites and harmful microorganisms.[11]
  • Anting Crow Fact
    "Anting" is still a mystery, but most scientists believe that the ants' secretions help control feather mites and other parasites

  • Crows mate for life; or at least they are, as scientists say, "monogamish," which means they are socially monogamous but genetically a little more promiscuous.[11]
  • Crows seem to hold funerals for other dead crows by gathering around a dead family member. Researchers also suggest that crows could be "danger learning," meaning they try to find out why the crow died so they can avoid a similar fate.[2]
  • Crows know that certain foods rot before other types of food, and so they will eat pieces of meat first and then store foods that don't spoil as quickly, such as nuts and bread.[11]
  • Crows can read traffic lights. During red lights, the birds place walnuts on the road and fly away when the lights turn green. After the cars crush the nuts, the crows wait for the next red light to pick up their snack.[11]
  • The Greek word for crow, corone, comes from the name of Apollo's mistress, Coronis. After Coronis left Apollo to marry someone else, either she was burned and turned into a black crow, or a white crow who relayed the message was burned by Apollo's anger and turned black.[12]
  • Crows have a complex communication system and make a wide range of calls, caws, and croaks. They can mimic the sounds of other animals, and they even have their own dialects.[8]
  • Group of Crows Fact
    The term "murder" is mostly based on folk tales and superstition
  • A group of crows is called a "murder."[11]
  • Wild crows live around 20 years, while captive crows live longer. The oldest wild crow on record was 30 years old, and the oldest captive crow lived to 59.[11]
  • In mythology, crows symbolize everything from good luck to bad luck, good omens to bad omens, as well as messages or rain.[12]
  • Crows love to play pranks, tease other animals, and play games. Scientists believe play and tool use are closely related.[10]
  • Crows hate hawks, and they will often form large groups to drive away any hawk who enters their territory.[11]
  • While most crows are black, there are white crows. They are either albino or another type of genetic mutation.[9]
  • Amazing Crow Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Crazy Crow Facts

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