East Coast Crow Problem

One of the things I had to do once I got out here was to learn the difference between crows and ravens. We have plenty of these big black birds around and I was corrected when I called them crows. I was told they were ravens. Please bear with me as I briefly explain the difference before I tell you about the problem.

A crow’s feathers are less shiny and don’t have the wet sheen that a raven’s feathers have. The crow also has lighter feather markings. In full sun, the crows wings are purple with green tints. The raven’s wings are shiny with a blue or purple tint.

The bill of a crow is smaller and flat and there is no tuft of hair atop the bill. The raven’s bill is bigger, more powerful and curved with a tuft of hair atop the bill.

A crow is smaller, about the size of a pigeon. They are about 17 inches long and weigh around 20 oz. The raven is larger, about the size of a Red-tailed hawk; they are 24 to 27 inches long and weigh about 40 oz.

The crow’s wings are blunt and splayed with a wingspan of 32 to 40 inches. The raven has pointed wings with a wingspan of 46 to 54 inches.

The life span of a crow is 8 years while that of a raven is 30 years.

The crow like to be in human populated areas while the raven is less social and more cautious.

The vocalization of a crow is Caw-Caw and high pitched. A raven utters a Gronk-Gronk in a low and hoarse tone.

The crow lives in an urban habitat wild the raven lives in wilder areas.

And last, but not least, the crows tail is fan-shaped while that of a raven is wedge-shaped.

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they might have died from Avian Flu. A bird pathologist examined the remains of all the crows and to everyone’s relief the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu.

The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paint appeared on the birds beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impacts with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentage of truck kills versus car kills. He very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a lookout crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Caw”, not a single one could shout “Truck”.

Nobody made you keep reading!!!

Keep your fork



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