Get to know the American Crow before The Great Backyard Birdcount (#GBBC)American Crow is a large, beautiful, black bird that looks like it has iridescent purple feathers in the sun. Both sexes are similar. Its scientific name Corvus brachyrhynchos is Latin for "raven with a small nose." We have crows year-round in Michigan and it’s not uncommon to see them, especially on garbage day, picking through your neighbors' leftover chicken wings. Most crows prefer open areas with nearby trees like in the suburbs, parks, woodlots, and forest edges. Some crows remain on their territories during the winter gathering in large winter roosts and large flocks searching for food. Winter roosting behavior begins in autumn and peaks mid-winter.
Crows, from tens in the north to hundreds of thousands in the south, will assemble in the late afternoon hours in an area with large trees. However some American Crows do migrate. Researchers have found marked crows from southeastern Michigan as far south as Tennessee, but more often migrants go shorter distances in search of food sources.
They are remarkably adaptable birds that will feed on a wide variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, bugs, worms and many kinds of animals such as mice and roadkill. At the feeders they like suet, mealworms, corn, sunflower seed and nuts. A tray or platform feeder filled with Wildlife Blend would look very good to crows in the winter.
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