Such a bird as the gray crow is the most common and recognizable species of birds. Note that this species of birds differs from its relatives by quickness, lively mind, as well as the possibility of domestication and subsequent attachment to its owner.
Description of the species
The gray crow belongs to the family of corvidae and is a fairly large bird, the body length is up to 51-53 cm, the maximum weight figures reach 700 gr., The wingspan is up to 1 meter.
The characteristic color of the representatives of the species is gray (with the exception of the crown, tail, wings, and the front of the bird). The beak of a black-crowed black crow is with a characteristic curved tip and a prominent bulge above the mandible. Legs of representatives of the species are black. The presence of gray in the color of the feather cover of the crow, in fact, is the main difference from other subspecies. Note that young individuals have a darker color of plumage. The characteristic sounds made by the bird are the hoarse and loud Carr-Carrr.
According to the majority of ornithologists, the gray crow is a subspecies of the black crow, with the possibility of crossing the representatives of both species. The way of life of species practically does not differ - birds lead a settled way of life, as a rule, live in pairs or small groups (crow communities).
As a rule, the food received by gray crows, living mainly in urban environments, is attributed to the roofs of houses, where they are saturated in a calm atmosphere.
Carrion crows are referred to predatory species of birds, as they are able to hunt small birds for their food, especially the bird ruins nests with newly emerged chicks. Also, the crow likes to eat some small animals and rodents. Often in urban park areas, gray crows hunt for squirrels. Large flocks of crows are capable of raids on hares, skillfully blocking the escape route and driving it into a dead end. Often, these birds adopt the characteristic behavior of such a feathered as a skua, which is manifested by the terrorization of small gulls that hunt fish in the coastal zone.
The most widespread population of gray crows received throughout Eurasia. This bird can be found almost everywhere: in the conditions of the city, in the forests, in the territories of landfills and wastelands. Note that the crow does not scare people at all. Birds place their nests in any convenient habitat - not only on tall trees, but also on buildings. As a rule, for the night, representatives of this species of birds gather in fairly large groups or flocks. Often, cemeteries or park areas are chosen as a place to spend the night. Often daws and rooks join flocks of gray crows.
The breeding season of the crows begins with the onset of the first spring days. To attract females, males of this species perform complex figures in the air.
Gray crow nests in pairs, while the nests of representatives of the species are located in close proximity to each other.
Crows are considered to be very sensitive birds, this is especially pronounced in environmental issues. A pair of birds will never build their nest in too polluted or smoke-filled areas. The crow can visit such ecologically unfavorable places only in search of food necessary for sustenance. That is, the nest is built on clean territory, which is explained by concern for future offspring.
The actual time at which the crows begin to build their nests is March-April. As a building material, birds use almost everything that they come across - from a variety of materials and rags to dry vegetation. The maximum amount of laying is 6 eggs, having a bluish tint with brown specks and fuzzy strokes. The female is engaged in incubation of the future offspring, the task of the crow is to provide the mother of the family with necessary food. During the period of incubation of eggs, the bird often conducts its airing, which is expressed by its characteristic behavior - it becomes on its paws, lifting the body above the tray, after which it starts to sort out them quickly for several tens of seconds.
The duration of the incubation period is about three weeks. Many observers have noticed that, as a rule, the male chick is the first to peck. After the birth of all the offspring, the female begins to help her partner in solving such tasks as searching for food both for her own food and for feeding the chicks.
The main condition for feeding adolescents is the availability of easily digestible and high-calorie food, for which reason crows often destroy the nests of other birds for feeding their offspring, taking their eggs to feed their chicks. Often for the same purpose, they steal nestlings of starlings or other small birds.
Habits of the species
Gray crows are rather mobile and active birds, who like to walk slowly from side to side. Also, this bird loves a variety of entertainment, for example, its favorite attractions are: planning in the air, swaying on wires, rolling on sloping roofs.
Also, these representatives of the species are very smart, for example, if they can not cope with the disclosure of any fruit, they simply rise to a great height, from where it is thrown off.
The gray raven, as well as any feathery, has its own worst enemy - it is such a bird as an owl. The latter attacks them at night when they sleep soundly.
Another feature of the crow is its excellent memory. Also gray crows can be called vindictive, for example, they can attack a dog that broke up a pack a few years ago. Sometimes birds take fur hats of people for their offenders, which is why there are cases when a bird flew at a person and began to fiercely peck at his headdress.
Gray crows wake up before sunrise, gathering in small flocks on the roofs of houses or sitting on the branches of a large tree. As a rule, the first half of the day is occupied by the fact that the birds are in search of suitable food for feeding. Towards noon, the crows again gather in a flock to rest on a chosen large tree or more beautifully than the structure. After lunch, the birds again go in search of food. Before going to bed, they actively communicate, sharing their impressions of the past day.
- Such a species of birds, like the gray crows, living in conditions of bondage, is very attached to the person who brings up their feathered pet. Especially if the representative of this species got into the house to a man at a young age - by a chick.
- Most bird owners point out that ravens are very smart feathered birds; nevertheless, they have one significant drawback - the crows are not only clever, but also thieving.
Crow: description, characteristics and photos. What does a bird look like?
The ravens are the largest representatives of the roaming unit. The length of the bird varies between 48-56 cm. The male is larger than the female, the weight of the male is 700-800 grams, the females weigh from 460-550 grams. The length of the wing of the male crow reaches 27-30 cm, in the female individual the wings grow from 25 to 27 cm. Strong wings in most species differ in a pointed form. The wingspan of the crow is about 1 m.
The appearance of the crow is similar to the rook, but has a more dense physique.
The tail of the crow is wedge-shaped, with long tail feathers. The bird's beak is powerful and sharp, conical in shape, in some species has a characteristic high bend. The crow's legs are thin and long, with four fingers: 1 facing back, 3 - forward.
Most raven species have a gray or black plumage color that casts a metallic, purple, violet or green color into the sun. The base of the pen is usually gray, in rare cases white.
The crow's voice is high, hoarse, sometimes rough and guttural, reminiscent of laughter. “Crow's tongue” is very developed, sounds of different pitch are used during marriage games, for notification to the general collection, swearing, threats, and also disturbing signals.
How many years do ravens live?
Life expectancy for crows in nature is 15-20 years. In captivity, some ravens live up to 35-40 years. The officially documented age of the oldest crow was 59 years, which is rare.
Where do ravens live?
Habitat is quite extensive: the crow bird is found in almost all countries of Europe and Asia, in North America, in North Africa and Australia.
Most crows are sedentary in urban, rural or natural landscapes. The settled-nomadic species of crows that inhabit the northern borders of the range, for the winter move in areas with a more benign climate.
What do ravens eat?
Singles by nature, crows are active hunters who sometimes team up with their relatives to catch prey or have a common feast. Being scavengers, a flock of crows is able to accompany long-haired raptors, as well as lynx and foxes for the sake of their prey or its remains. Crows are omnivores and feed on absolutely everything that, in their opinion, will be edible. In the diet of crows include any insects (beetles, flies, butterflies), worms, eggs of other species of birds and their chicks, lizards, frogs, squirrels, fish, small rodents (mice and rats).
All sorts of food waste - the usual and favorite food of the crow, so a large concentration of these birds is often observed in city dumps. The crow feeds on insect larvae swarming in manure.
In the absence of animal food, the crow eats plants and their seeds, fruits and vegetables.
Raven species names and photos
The genus includes several species of crows:
- Black Crow(lat. Corvus corone)
It has black plumage, as well as black paws, feet and beak. Therefore, the bird is often confused with a rook. However, the plumage of a black crow has a much greener ebb than that of a rook, and sometimes even a purple glow. The body length of an adult individual is 48-52 cm.
The species range covers the territory of Western and Central Europe, where the black crow lives with one of its subspecies - the eastern black crow (lat. Corvus corone orientalis), which lives in East Asia. On the territory of Russia, black crows nest in Eastern Siberia and the Far East.
- Hoodie(lat. Corvus cornix)
According to one of the classifications, the gray crow is a separate species; according to the other, it is a subspecies of the black crow. The length of the bird reaches 50 cm with a weight of 460-735 grams. The gray crow differs from the rook by its greater width of the wing and a particularly pronounced inclination of the beak. The body is colored gray. The head, chest, wings and tail of the gray crow are black in color with a slight metallic tint.
The gray crow lives in Eastern and Central Europe, the Scandinavian countries, Asia Minor and throughout Russia, from the western part to the Kara Sea.
- Australian crow(lat. Corvus coronoides)
It is the largest of the three related species found in Australia. The length of the crow's body is 46-53 cm, and the average weight is 650 g. The black plumage of a crow casts with a blue-violet or blue-green glitter. A distinctive feature of all the crows living in Australia is the white iris and pronounced neck feathers. The throat of young individuals is covered with such rare feathers that pink skin appears between them.
The Australian crow lives in Sydney and Canberra.
- South Australian Crow(lat. Corvus mellori)
Differs completely black color plumage, long wings and a thin, strongly curved beak. Medium size, the length of an adult crow is 48-50 cm. According to some scientists, the bird prefers only plant food.
It is inhabited by a South Australian crow in southeastern Australia, as well as on the King and Kangaroo Islands.
- Bronze crow(lat. Corvus crassirostris)
Originally called the grizzled crow. Large representatives of the species have a body length of 60-64 cm. The beak of the bronze crow is rather large and exceeds the length of the head. Coloring crows completely black, with a single white spot on the back of his head. For the tail of the crow of this species is characterized by a stepped arrangement of feathers.
There is a bronze crow in the highlands and highlands of East Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, as well as Sudan and Somalia.
- White Crow(lat. Corvus cryptoleucus)
A typical representative of the genus, characterized by white bases of feathers on the neck. The body length of an adult individual is 50 cm. This species of raven is common in the southeastern United States and northern Mexico.
- Big-eyed crow(lat. Corvus macrorhynchos)
The bird has a very large beak. The size of the crows depends on the habitat: the representatives of the northern populations are larger than the southern ones, have a large beak and well-developed feathers on the neck. On average, the length of an adult crow is 46-59 cm, and its weight reaches 1.3 kg. The body is covered with dark gray feathers. The wings, tail and head of the big-billed crow are black, with a purple or green tint.
The species includes 15 subspecies living in the continental part of Asia and the Far East of Russia, and also inhabiting the islands: the Philippines, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Hokkaido, Yakushima, and many others.
- Bristle crow(lat. Corvus rhipidurus)
It grows up to 47 cm in length and is very similar to the black crow. However, the bird has a characteristic thickened beak, long wings, a shortened tail and very short feathers on the throat. The appearance of bristly crows is distinguished by a black glossy color and is characterized by a purple-blue color of feathers and paws. The feathers of the crows on the nape have a white base.
The habitat of this species of birds begins in the Middle East, passes through the northern part of the African continent, across the Arabian Peninsula, through Kenya and Sudan to the Sahara desert.
- Bangai crow(lat. Corvus unicolor)
The smallest crow of this genus, growing only up to 39 cm in length. The species is characterized by black color of feathers and a short tail.
The most neglected species of raven, is found exclusively on the island Peleng in Indonesia. The species has the status of endangered and, according to scientists, the population today contains from 30 to 200 individuals.
Very rarely, white crows are found in nature - the result of mutation-albinism.
An albino can appear in any species group and will differ from its congeners only in the white color of its plumage and extreme vulnerability.
How do ravens breed?
At the age of 2 years, most raven species are ready to breed. Crows are monogamous birds and choose a mate for the rest of their lives. The mating games of the male and female crows are distinguished by intricate air turns, chases and somersaults. The most common species of these birds breed in the beginning-middle of spring.
Left female crows, to the right a male crow
The crow makes a nest in the forest parks and squares, their laying takes place in a fork of strong tree branches, on power transmission towers, cranes, behind gutters. Species that inhabit the steppe and semi-desert landscapes arrange nests in the crevices of rocks and cliffs. Both future parents usually take part in construction, painstakingly constructing a nest of twigs and twigs. Crow's nest diameter is less than 0.5 meters and has a height of 20-30 cm. For binding used turf, clay, often pieces of wire. The bottom of the nest is lined with feathers, down, dry grass, cotton and rags.
Depending on the type of bird, the clutch contains 3-6 or 4-8 eggs of a light green or bluish color with dark spots. Female crows constantly incubate clutch for 17-20 days. The male crow during the entire time of incubation of eggs feeds his companion and takes care of her.
After 25 days, naked raven chicks are born, fed by both parents. Cubs fledge a month after birth.
A crow that has accidentally fallen out of the nest of a crow should not be taken in hand. Parents make a terrible noise, shouting calling their kinsmen, and zealously protect the cub. A flock of crows attacking a dangerous alien, whether animal or human.
In early summer, the offspring of the crow begins to fly out of the nest, and the first month remains with the parents, who continue to take care of them. In July, the young finally leaves their native nest.
Nevertheless, family ties remain, and sometimes the offspring of past years instead of creating their own family helps parents to feed and raise brothers and sisters.
Crow at home
If you want to have a crow at home, then it is advisable to choose a young individual or even a chick. The crow is not a neat animal, it will be enough dirt from it. It is advisable to make an open-air cage for her and put linoleum on the bottom or some kind of metal coating that can be filled with sawdust. Caring for a crow at home is quite difficult, the bird should be bathed, sunbathed, and allowed to fly.
Many wonder how to tame the crow. It is easy to get if you take a 2-3 month old little raven. But if the crow is older than 6 months, do not expect submission from her.
Итак, для того чтобы ваша ворона стала ручной, вы должны помимо ухода за ней, ежедневно выделять ей не менее 2-3 часов в день на прогулки и тренировки. Ворон можно тренировать как ловчих птиц, а также их можно выпускать на волю прогуляться. Правда, для начала это лучше делать со специальными кожаными ремешками на лапках. Когда ваша домашняя ворона начнет вести себя послушно, вы можете отпустить её в свободный полёт, и она к вам обязательно вернётся.
Чем кормить ворону?
Домашние вороны едят говядину, курицу, мышей и кроликов. It is not necessary to feed the home crow with pork, as it is too fat. In addition to the meat diet, the crow should eat porridge, low-fat cottage cheese, carrots, apples, raw quail eggs. Tomatoes, potatoes, citrus, milk and sweets are best limited. It is strictly forbidden to give the bird salt and salted foods.
In our country, the gray crow is common in the European part and in Siberia. In the east (before the Yenisei), the crow plumage is more gray. This bird is found in forests, in wastelands, dumps, in small towns and cities. The bird is not afraid of an abundance of people. The gray crow manages to build nests not only on trees, but also on buildings. For the night, crows gather in huge crowds. They often spend the night in parks or cemeteries. Often they are joined by rooks and jackdaws. One part of the Moscow and Moscow region gray crows remains for the winter in their former places, the other part migrates to other regions and even to European countries. The total number of birds does not decrease as the crows fly in from the North.
With the arrival of spring, the marriage period begins. At this time, it is interesting to observe males making incredibly complex turns, take-offs and other aerobatics in the air. Hooded crow nests in pairs. Sometimes nests are located nearby. Crows are very sensitive birds. They are well versed in environmental issues. A gray crow rarely builds a nest in a polluted area. She only flies there in search of food, and she builds a nest in a cleaner place so that the offspring can be healthy.
In March - April, construction of a nest on a tree or on a building begins. Building material is all that the ravens can find and bring. These are branches, hay, rags, various pieces of iron and pieces of wire. Masonry consists of 2 - 6 bluish-green with dark brown spots and strokes of eggs. The eggs laid first are more intensely colored than the last eggs. At the very end, the female lays pale blue eggs with almost imperceptible specks. Family responsibilities are distributed as follows: the female incubates the eggs, and the male provides her with food. “Through binoculars you can clearly see that there is a noticeable movement in the nest. The bird rises a little and for a few moments, as if half-ashes, quickly turning over with its feet, which is why the wings and the whole body start. These strange, at first glance, the actions of the birds contribute to the ventilation of the nest tray. It lasts from a few seconds to half a minute and repeats so often that the bird, in essence, never sits quietly on the eggs. ” (S.F. Starikovich "Menagerie by the porch").
Chicks appear in about three weeks. It is noted that the first hatches a ravenok- "boy". As soon as the chicks are born, the female of the gray crow joins the search for food. Birds guard the nest with chicks in turn. Younger chicks need such food that is easily digested and sufficiently high in calories. The best food is the eggs of other birds. Crows ruthlessly rob other people's nests to feed their chicks. They also hunt smaller birds for chicks. “Having sat on the wand (and who only invented it?) Or on the hanging roof of the birdhouse, the crow waits for the nestling to look out the window. Grasping his beak, she drags the silly ones one by one. But this is not the pinnacle of robbery: some crows uncork nesting boxes, like a bottle of beer. At the Zvenigorod Biological Station of Moscow State University, a burglar, acting with a beak like a lever, dropped the covers from eight birdhouses in one morning. Having put the beak between the lid and the side wall, it widened the gap until the lid yielded. ”
Habits of the gray crow
Crows are surprisingly mobile, although they walk slowly due to their close toes. This bird loves fun. For example, she plans with pleasure, gaining a height of several tens of meters. Boldly swinging on the wires. In our country, crows noisily roll down the metal roof, having folded their wings. Clever birds are incredibly clever. “If one cannot break a strong shell with its beak, they soar up into the sky and throw a shell on stones or on the highway. Somehow, the crows used a Tashkent airfield as tongs for chopping nuts. In the mornings, when there was a relative calm at the airport, a flock of crows bombed a concrete strip with walnuts tied up in neighboring gardens! ” (S.F. Starikovich "Menagerie at the Porch"). There are many facts confirming the ability of the crows. "They famously count in their minds up to five." They raided the raven ... If five people entered the shelter, the pack did not return until all the hunters lost patience and went home. If, say, nine people climbed into the shelter, and six or seven got out of it, the crows-observers went astray and, having decided that everything was in order, gave signals to return. ” (S.F. Starikovich "Menagerie at the Porch").
The crow has the worst enemy - the owl. He kills birds at night when they sleep. The ravens are vindictive. They remember and can attack the dog that chased them a year ago. Occasionally the birds take the fur hats of people for old offenders and fiercely peck them.
The crow living in captivity quickly gets used to the person. Especially if you hit the house still chick. Everyone notes that this is a very smart bird. True, thievish. “For example, as the zoologist Y. Romov complained about his hand bird. His pupil, who lived in freedom, stole everything she could carry. At the table, she behaved herself in the highest degree indecently — she emptied the host and guest spoon before it was brought to her mouth. It was worth a little gap, as the spoon itself disappeared. Neither swearing nor cuffing helped. ” (S.F. Starikovich "Menagerie at the Porch").
“Both types of crows can be kept in captivity for a long time without major troubles, they are tamed and learn to speak, if only the teacher has enough patience. But still they are not suitable for the room because of their untidiness and the spreading smell ... ". (AE Brem “Animal Life, Volume II,“ Birds ”). Manual crow lives for years near the person. She is so accustomed to home and all family members, that she can lead a free lifestyle, but eat and sleep with people.
Gray crows live in the countries of Eastern Europe, Asia Minor. He also lives in Scandinavian countries.
On the territory of our country, crows live from the west to the Yenisei.
There are both migratory and nomadic populations, and settled living. The latter mainly refers to synanthropes living in cities, where human activity creates favorable conditions for living.
Nesting gray crows. Feeding Chicks
The nesting period begins in March-April, depending on the range (early in the south, later in the northern regions).
Birds living in large cities begin to nest 2-3 weeks earlier. The reasons for this are milder temperature conditions and abundant food supply.
The material for the construction of the nest, are dry branches, grass, clay and turf. And, besides, cotton wool, synthetics, tow, in some cases aluminum wire. Gray crows make nests in the branches of large trees in forests and groves. And also in the forest parks and squares. More crow nests were found on power transmission towers, behind drainpipes and on construction cranes.
The female lays eggs in the amount of from 4 to 6 pieces. The brooding period lasts approximately 18-19 days, only the female incubates the eggs, and the male brings her food. When the chicks hatch, they are fed by both parents.
Chicks fly out of the nest somewhere in the middle of June.
These birds are endowed with high intelligence and very clever. It is well known that ravens used simple tools, in the form of sticks, to extract food. It is believed that they are able to distinguish a person walking in the park from a hunter.
Many of the gray crows living near humans have learned to soak pieces of dried food in the water. In order to split a nut, some birds put it on the tram rails, or under the wheels of cars.
Many of them like to roll on the steep roofs of residential buildings. Just like children roll down ice slides. Such games cause discontent of public services.
When kept as a pet, the gray crows can easily learn human speech.
Hooded crow in the city
On the one hand, gray crows cause undoubted harm. They steal, hooligans, dirty monuments and architectural structures. They cause damage to public utilities by their actions. But, on the other hand, they destroy carrion and food waste. In addition, the number of small rodents, such as mice and rats, is reduced. Perhaps the number of these birds is a living indicator of the sanitary condition of the city.
In this regard, in some large cities, attempts were made to reduce the number of gray crows by shooting and catching them. As well as applying pesticides. In addition to the fact that these methods are not highly humane, they are also not very effective.
To reduce the number of crows in the city, it would be possible, by eliminating unauthorized dumps, using tightly closing containers, that is, by limiting the food supply.
Latin bird name - Corvus corax. The species was first described by the naturalist Karl Liney in 1758. To date, ornithologists have isolated up to 11 subspecies of the raven, but the differences between them in terms of their phenotype are minimal and are due to their habitat, rather than a genetic trait.
- kingdom - animals,
- type - chord,
- class - birds,
- detachment - passer-shaped,
- family - corvidae,
- kind of - crows,
- the species is an ordinary raven.
The closest relatives of the bird are the American white-crawl crow, the piebald and desert brown-headed crow, while outwardly it has the most similarities to the rook.
The raven is the largest representative of passerines. The length of its body reaches 70 cm, and the wingspan is up to 150 cm. The bird weight can be 800-1600 g, however, cases of ornithologists' description of crows weighing up to 2 kg are rare. The difference in length and mass depends on the habitat - the colder the climate, the larger the individuals living in it. That is, the largest representatives of the ravens can be found in northern latitudes or in the mountains.
It is interesting! A distinctive feature of the crow is a massive sharp beak and fan-like feathers on the throat of a bird. In flight, the crow can be distinguished from others by a wedge-shaped tail.
Males of ravens are larger than females. It is almost impossible to distinguish them by color - both the female and the male have a black color with a metallic sheen. On top of the body has a blue or purple hue, and below the green. The young are characterized by black frosted plumage. The legs of the bird are powerful, with large curved claws in black. If necessary, both they and the wide bent beak will become an instrument of attack on the enemy.
Lifestyle and intelligence
In contrast to the urban gray crows, the common crow is a resident of forest spaces and prefers old coniferous forests.. He lives in isolated pairs, only by the autumn forming small flocks of 10-40 individuals in order to fly to a new place in search of food. At night, the bird sleeps in its nest, and all day long is engaged in hunting. If necessary, one flock can organize an attack on another and recapture the territory within which it will gather food.
It is interesting! Birds prefer to nest in the forest, however, they like to move closer to people for the winter, for example, to city dumps or cemeteries. They are more likely to find something to eat and survive the cold.
The raven is a clever bird. It has the same percentage of brain to body as chimpanzees. Scientists even claim to have intelligence. To confirm this fact, many experiments were conducted, giving the bird the opportunity to unleash mental abilities. One of the most visual tests was based on Aesop's fable, The Crow and the Jug. The birds were placed in a room where there was a pile of pebbles and a narrow vessel with worms that swam in a small amount of water.
The birds could not get to the delicacy freely, and then intelligence came to their aid. The crows began to throw stones at the vessel, thereby raising the water level to reach the worms. The experiment was repeated four times with different birds and they all coped with the task - to get to the food. In this case, the birds did not just perform rash actions, they threw pebbles until they could reach the worms, choosing more stones, realizing that they are able to displace more water.
Subjected to the study of scientists and crow language. It was suggested that croaking is not just a chaotic noise, but a real conversation, moreover, far from being primitive. It will be too loud to call it a language, but scientists have come to the conclusion that the ravens have something like dialects that vary depending on their halo habitat. Another fact that proves the presence of intelligence in these birds is the memory transmitted from generation to generation.
Only one bird killed by farmers can cause the flock to migrate. The ravens will remember the house or the area where the danger has arisen for a long time and will by all means try to avoid appearing near it. Another focus of attention was the inhibitor control of the bird, or rather the ability to control instinctive impulses for the sake of rational behavior. The ravens were offered opaque pipes with holes in which food was placed.
When they learned to find it correctly, the pipes were replaced with transparent ones. Using self-control, the birds had to remove the food, not trying to get it directly, breaking through the transparent wall. Needless to say, they successfully coped with this ordeal. Such an exposure helps the crow to wait for food for hours without exposing itself to unnecessary danger.
How many crows live
The life of a crow is affected by its habitat, therefore, it is difficult to give an unequivocal answer to the question of how much this bird lives. In urban birds and in the wild, the number of years lived will be very different.
It is interesting! The more crows live, the more knowledge, skills and experience he will receive in his life. This bird does not forget anything and over the years it becomes smarter and wiser.
Crows nesting in the city and regularly inhaling harmful fumes from industrial areas, as well as eating leftovers at landfills rarely boast a life expectancy of more than 10 years. However, in the city, the birds have practically no enemies, therefore, under favorable conditions, the crow can live up to 30 years. In nature, the raven lives about 10-15 years. Rare individuals live to 40, because the bird has to hunt for its food every day and is exposed to many dangers, including the attack of other predators. A bad autumn and cold winter can cause the death of a whole flock.
Arabs believe that the crow is an immortal bird. Ancient records say about individuals who have lived 300 years and more, and folk tales say that the crow lives nine human lives. Ornithologists treat such rumors with great doubt, however, they are sure that if a favorable conditions are created for the bird in captivity, it may well live for 70 years.
What distinguishes a crow from a crow
It is a common belief among the people that the crow is a male, and the crow is a female of the same species. In fact, the crow and the crow are two different types of corvids belonging to the same family. Such confusion in Russian appeared because of the similar pronunciation and spelling of the names of birds. There is no confusion in other languages. For example, in English a crow is called “raven”, and a crow sounds like “crow”. If foreigners confuse these two birds, it is only because of the similar appearance.
It is interesting! Unlike ravens, ravens prefer to settle closer to humans. So it is easier for them to get their own food. In the CIS countries there is only a gray crow, which is not difficult to distinguish by the color of the body.
The black crow, which in fact can be mistaken for a crow, lives mainly in Western Europe and in the eastern part of Eurasia. The length and body weight of the bird is significantly inferior to the crow. Adult males weigh no more than 700 grams, and body length does not reach 50 cm. There are differences in details. In the crow there is no plumage on the goiter, and during the flight you can see that the bird's tail is smoothly rounded, while in the crow it has a clear wedge-shaped ending.
The crow loves to gather in groups, while the crow keeps together in pairs or one by one. You can distinguish birds by ear. The caw of a crow is deep and guttural, sounds like “Kau!” Or “arra!”, And the crow makes a nasal sound, like a short “ka!”. Between themselves, the two species do not get along - often a flock of crows attacks a single crow.
The raven lives almost throughout the northern hemisphere.. In North America, it can be found from Alaska to Mexico, in Europe in any country except France, as well as in Asia and North Africa. The bird prefers to settle on sea coasts, in deserts or even mountains. But most often the crow can be found in dense centuries-old forests, mostly spruce. In rare exceptions, the bird settles in urban parks and squares.
In the northern part of Eurasia, the bird lives almost everywhere, with the exception of Taimyr, Yamal and Gadyni, as well as on islands in the Arctic Ocean. На юге граница гнездования проходит через Сирию, Ирак и Иран, Пакистан и северную Индию, Китай и Приморье России. В Европе ареал обитания птицы значительно изменился за последнее столетие. Ворон ушел из Западной и Центральной части, встречаясь там скорее в виде исключения. В Северной Америке птица также все реже появляется в центре континента, предпочитая селится на границе с Канодой, в Миннесоте, Висконсине, Мичигане и Мэне.
Once a raven was widespread in New England, in the Adirondack Mountains, Allegans and on the coast of Virginia and New Jersey, as well as in the Great Plains region. Due to the mass extermination of wolves and bison, the fallen individuals of which the bird ate, the crow left these lands. When compared with other corvids, the crow is almost not related to the anthropogenic landscape. It is rarely found in large cities, although flocks of ravens were seen in the park area of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Riverside, as well as in the capital of Mongolia, Ulan Bator.
In the second half of the 20th century, crows began to be noticed in the north-west of Russia, for example, in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, in Moscow, Lviv, Chicago, London and Bern. The reason why the raven does not like to lodge near the person is connected not only with the superfluous anxiety that is delivered to the bird, but most likely with the absence of suitable habitats and the presence of competitors.
The diet of the ravens is varied. By nature, they are predators, but carrion plays a key role in feeding, mainly of such large animals as deer and wolves. For a long time, the bird is able to feed on dead fish, rodents and frogs. The raven is perfectly adapted to the meager forage regions and eats everything that it can catch or detect. In search of prey, he soars in the air for a long time, which is not characteristic of corvids. It hunts mainly game, no larger than a hare, for example, various rodents, lizards, snakes, birds.
Eats insects, mollusks, worms, sea urchins and scorpions. On occasion, it can ruin someone else's nest, complete food - seeds, grain, fruits of plants. Often, the crow becomes the cause of damage to farm crops. Another way to feed is to eat in the past by laying eggs or young chicks. In case of need, the plant grows on what the person leaves behind. A flock of crows is found in almost every major city dump.
Important! With an excess of food, the raven hides what is left of the meal in a secluded place or shares with the flock.
During the hunt, the bird is very patient and can spend hours watching the hunt of another animal, in order to eat the remnants of its prey, or to track and steal the reserves it has made. With food abundance, different individuals living nearby may specialize in different types of feed.
American biologists have observed such a picture in Oregon. Nesting birds in the neighborhood were divided into those who ate the plant food, those who hunted gophers and those who collected carrion. Thus, competition was reduced to a minimum, which allowed the birds to exist safely side by side.
Reproduction and offspring
Raven is considered monogamous. Created pairs are saved for many years, and sometimes for life. This is due to the bird's attachment to the territory and nesting site. Biologists have known cases when a pair of ravens returned every year to the same place to raise offspring. The bird becomes mature in its second year of life. Couples prefer settles at a distance of one to five kilometers from each other. Reproduction is started in winter, in the second half of February, however, in the south this period is shifted to an earlier date, and in the north, on the contrary, to a later one.
For example, in Pakistan, crows breed in December, and in Siberia or in the mountains of Tibet only in mid-April. Mating is preceded by mating games. The male cuddles difficult maneuvers in the air or walks in front of the female with an important view with his head held high, swollen neck and ruffled plumage. If a pair of crows has developed, the "wedding" ends with a mutual cleaning of feathers.
Both female and male equally participate in the creation of the future nest. It is arranged in a place inaccessible to enemies - in the crown of a tall tree, on a ledge of rock or a man-made structure. Thick branches of trees are woven into a large nest, then smaller branches are laid, and from the inside they are insulated with wool, dry grass or cloth. The birds living next to a human have adapted to using modern materials like nest, glass wool and plastic to build nests.
The construction of the future home takes 1-3 weeks. The finished nest has a diameter of up to 50-150 cm, a depth of up to 15 cm and a height of 20-60 cm. In most cases, a couple builds two or even three nests and uses them alternately.
It is interesting! Crows are able to adapt the litter nest under the ambient air temperature, using for this purpose cooling or, on the contrary, heating materials.
On average, the clutch consists of 4-6 eggs of bluish-green eggs with gray or brown spots, in rare cases, the female can lay one or seven or eight eggs. Their dimensions are about 50 by 34 mm. The incubation period lasts from 20 to 25 days. All this time, the female incubates the eggs, without extreme need without leaving the nest, and the male takes care of her sustenance.
Loyalty to the ravens of their offspring is a mass of examples. There are cases when the female continued to hatch eggs with a shot in the body or after the tree on which the nest was cut by lumberjacks. The first one or two weeks after the hatching of chicks, the female does not move away from the brood, warming and preserving the immature young. Upon reaching 4-7 weeks, the chicks begin to learn to fly, but finally leave their native nest only at the end of next winter.
In the city, the ravens have virtually no enemies, with the exception of cats or dogs that hunt them. In the natural environment, this list significantly increases. All birds of prey, like eagles or hawks, are considered enemies.
In search of carrion crows are forced to settle next to another predator - a wolf, a fox or even a bear. Another worst enemy of the crow is an owl. At night, when the raven sleeps, it can attack nests and steal chicks, or even kill an adult. For protection from enemies, crows are forced to gather in flocks.
Population and species status
In the 19th century, the raven was considered a symbol of misfortune and often caused the destruction of farmers' crops. They started hunting for the bird with the help of poisonous baits, which is why its population has drastically decreased. Currently, many countries have taken the crow under protection. Due to this, the number of these birds has recently increased significantly, but the crow is still a rare bird.
The natural barrier to reproduction is still the lack of food during the winter. Therefore, great importance to the increase in population has been influenced by the development of tourism. For example, in the Alps, thanks to the remnant of food waste after tourists, the number of ravens increased markedly in the middle of the last century.