1. Crows are members of the Corvidae family, which also includes ravens, magpies, and blue jays.
2. There are about 40 or so species in the Corvus genus. These range from pigeon-sized birds to ravens, which can be as much as 24-27 inches long. The Corvus genus includes the common American crow, ravens, rooks, and other variations.
3. Crows are actually very social and caring creatures, and also among the smartest animals on the planet.
4. Crows are predators and scavengers, which means that they will eat practically anything. Their diet consists of various road-kill, insects, frogs, snakes, mice, corn, human fast food, even eggs and nestlings of other birds. An adult crow needs about 11 ounces of food daily.
5. They roost in huge numbers (in the thousands) to protect themselves from enemies like red-tailed hawks, horned-owls, and raccoons.
6. Crows also use at least 250 different calls. The distress call brings other crows to their aid, as crows will defend unrelated crows.
7. Crows live all over the world, except for Antarctica, and according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, most crows are not endangered. For example, the number of individual American crows is estimated by BirdLife International to be around 31,000,000.
8. Crows are susceptible to West Nile virus, and their deaths are used as early indicators of potential human disease in an area. West Nile Virus has killed 45% of American crows since 1999.
9. Crows are most often associated with a long history of fear and loathing. Many people fear them simply because of their black feathers, which are often associating them with death. Many view the appearance of crows as an omen of death because ravens and crows are scavengers and are generally associated with dead bodies, battlefields, and cemeteries, and they are thought to circle in large numbers above sites where animals or people are expected to soon die.
10. A group of crows is called a “murder.” There are several different explanations for the origin of this term, mostly based on old folk tales and superstitions. For instance, there is a folktale that crows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.
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