Like any other bird species, crows are born in eggs.
However, their eggs have some particular characteristics that make them different from the rest. For example, their size and color.
Indeed, crows aren’t a threat to anyone. However, having an entire family of these birds on your property could spell trouble down the line. Like dealing with their droppings, for example.
If you find these kinds of eggs near your home, run! No, we’re kidding. Just make sure you take some measures to prevent these birds from coming to your property and making a mess.
In this article, you’ll learn some interesting facts about crows, their eggs, habitat, and behavior.
In addition, we’ll give you some tips to keep these birds in their natural habitat and away from your property.
A single American crow can lay 3-7 eggs. On average, the regular number of laid eggs ranges from 4-5. The color of the eggs may vary depending on the crow species, their feeding, and other factors.
The most common colors are light brown, gray, olive, dark green, and bluish-green. It’s also common to find irregularly distributed spots all over the shell.
The average size of crow eggs is 1.15-inch wide by 1.6-inch tall. The average weight is approximately 17 grams.
Crows may lay eggs shortly after the nest is finished.
However, some others may do it two weeks later. The female crow lays one egg per day. This usually happens in the late morning.
The female may also wait one or two days to lay the next one. The incubation process begins after the third egg is laid.
Normally, there’s a difference of three days from the hatching of the first egg to the hatching of the last one. The first hatching usually takes place 18 days after the female begins to incubate.
Crows live in both rural and urban areas. You can find them in trees and on top of the tallest skyscrapers.
In other cases, you can find their nests near the ground, when the shade is good and there’s plenty of water and food around.
Unlike other birds, crows aren’t afraid of humans. That’s why, in the big cities, they’re commonly found near people as they scavenge for food.
In some cases, these birds may also be considered pests because of their noisy behavior and the mess they can make.
Crows begin to build their nests during the first days of March. This process usually extends until June. Both, the male and the female collaborate in this task.
Normally, a couple of crows take 1-2 weeks to complete the nest.
Crow nests can be found in many different places, such as parks, residential areas, and open fields. The type of nest that they use depends on the location.
In general, crows build a round or elliptical structure out of sticks, twigs, and mud.
However, in some cases, they may use human-made materials when natural ones aren’t appropriate.
In some crow nests, you may find cloth, plastic fibers, and even human hair. The size of these nests is usually 1.5-ft in diameter and 8-10 inches deep.
Once the rustic part of the nest is complete, crows line the nest cup with softer materials such as fur, moss, paper, tree bark, grass, and flowers.
So, as you can see, the comfort level is something important for these little creatures.
Crows are quite picky about the quality of the materials they use in their nests. It may take a long time for a crow to decide which tree branch to use.
If you see little branches around a big tree, it’s probably a crow causing that mess. It’s common to see crows pulling branches, playing with them, and then throwing them to the ground.
The Lifespan Of A Crow Nest
On average, the lifespan of a crow nest is 9 weeks:
- Construction (1-2 weeks).
- Laying (1 week).
- Incubation (3 weeks).
- Nestlings (4 weeks).
These little structures are incredibly sturdy and can last for years intact in the trees if they’re well protected from strong winds.
Normally, crows never return to their nests after their young fledge. However, they may build a new nest on top of an old one.
Normally, baby crows have their eyes closed after hatching, with their small bodies covered with a thin layer of down.
At that time, the weight of the young is about 15.5 grams.
During the first two weeks of life, the mother will brood the young almost without interruption.
On the other hand, the father collects the food and takes it to the nest. The male store’s food in his throat or inside a pouch under his tongue. 30-40 Days after hatching, the young leave the nest.
After leaving the nest, young crows aren’t completely prepared to fly because their feathers aren’t completely developed.
So, it may take time for the young crow to acquire the skill and confidence to fly.
Usually, young crows jump from one branch to another on the tree where they were born.
During this time, the parents keep feeding the young crows until they’re able to fly.
In some cases, young birds fall from trees while practicing. If the young don’t die, the parents continue to take care of them. Unless they were attacked by a predator or touched by a human hand.
Usually, it takes 3-4 months for young crows to learn all the skills necessary to fly and get food for themselves.
Most of the time, crows are sociable with other Corvus, like magpies and ravens. So, it’s quite common to find them in flocks.
Normally, the family group consists of the breeding parents and their youngest offspring.
Crows from the previous year may help their parents to raise new generations.
A single-family of crows may have up to 15 members, including both parents and young crows from different generations.
Normally, crows begin their nesting season in spring. Specifically between March and April. On the other hand, crows aren’t breeding.
They leave their nests and join large flocks. During this time, crows migrate from one place to another, looking for water, food, and a comfortable tree.
Crows are intelligent birds. They use their intelligence to solve problems and organize themselves. These animals also form social structures, which can include family and friends.
They can also form attack groups to harass larger birds and natural predators like an owl, eagles, or hawks. This natural behavior is called “mobbing”.
Crows are territorial creatures and may display aggressive behavior when they feel threatened.
They also display an overprotective behavior for their young, attacking any would-be predator near their nests.
That’s why it’s common to see crows attacking people on some occasions.
Usually, crows in urban areas are more aggressive than those living in rural areas. This violent behavior is stronger in environments where crows feel less threatened by their natural predators.
Crows tend to attack the blind spots on the body.
For that reason, you’ll never see a crow swooping right into your eyes.
Interestingly, wearing caps printed with eye-shaped logos tends to scare these birds away.
Crows feel naturally attracted to garbage, compost, and pet food that falls from bird cages. So, it’s no surprise to find them visiting your canaries from time to time.
If you enjoy the natural beauty of these animals, putting a bird feeder in your yard is the best invitation card.
Being a male crow isn’t easy. Competition for females is tough. So, the male needs to impress the female to win the prize.
For that, the male fluffs his feathers and spreads his tail and wings. Then he dances and sings for his potential mate.
In some cases, crows may mate for life if they have success breeding new generations.
In case the couple fails, the male and the female return to their families as if they were divorcing.
If one of the mates dies, the surviving one will try to find a new mate.
Crows can eat a wide variety of foods, including berries, nuts, grains, seeds, and fruits. They’re also natural predators of some crop pests, mice, and earthworms.
In coastal areas, crows may feed on clams, mussels, small fish, and young turtles.
It’s also known that crows may feed on the eggs of other birds such as eiders, loons, terns, jays, robins, and sparrows.
Of course, in urban areas, it’s common to see them inside trashcans eating garbage and carrion.
So, as you can see, these birds can adapt their diet to the environment they inhabit, making them capable of living in almost any place imaginable.
As a curious fact, crows tend to dip their food in water before eating it. No one knows exactly the reason for this behavior.
However, some experts believe that crows do this to wash down their food.
As we’ve mentioned before, crows are quite intelligent, to the point of mimicking some human habits.
It’s difficult to calculate exactly how many of these birds are left in North America.
However, one thing is certain; their population has decreased considerably in the last five decades.
According to “Partners in Flight”, there’s an approximate population of 28 million American crows.
Although these birds can easily adapt to environmental conditions, they’re also highly susceptible to disease.
For example, the West Nile virus can kill a crow in just a week.
Tips To Keep Crows Away
We explained before that crows never attack while you’re looking at them. It seems these birds are afraid of being observed by their predators.
For that reason, they’ll never attack you if you’re wearing a hat with any print or embroidery in the shape of an eye.
Following this same principle, you can hang bird diverters in trees around your property and on your front porch to keep crows away.
These gadgets with the shape of a hawk eye reflect sunlight during the day, looking even more menacing.
Certainly, this is the smartest way to get rid of American crow droppings without hurting any of these harmless creatures.
Read more: Do Crows Remember Faces?
What Do Crow Eggs Look Like? – Conclusion
This is probably the most comprehensive article you’ll find about crows on the Internet. We covered all the essential aspects of the behavior and life cycle of these wonderful birds.
Unlike other species, crows can adapt to the harshest conditions. That means they can survive even if water and food are scarce.
So, next time you see crows in your trashcan; don’t treat them like a pest. Instead, think of all the harsh conditions they’ve been through to ensure the survival of their species.
If you’re fed up with their droppings all over your property, be smart and chase them away without hurting them. Maybe using the old fake-hawk-eye tactic. It never fails!