The true crows are in the genus Corvus; they are large Passerine birds. As a group they show remarkable examples of intelligence; it would not be at all an exaggeration to characterize crows as being to birds what higher primates (including humans) are to mammals. Description Crows are highly intelligent animals capable of making tools and manipulating the world around them to solve problems. Social birds, crows roost together in large flocks through the fall and winter months. They are opportunistic omnivores and will eat almost anything, including fruit, seeds, worms, eggs, and trash. Appearance These large birds have coal-black coloring on their beaks, feathers, legs, and feet. Their powerful talons are useful for grasping food, branches, or tools, and a pointed beak allows crows to peck open nuts and the tough outer shells of prey such as insects and crabs. Though closely related to the common raven, crows are a bit smaller and have rounded tail feathers as opposed to pointed. Habitat Crows adapt to almost any environment where there are plentiful food sources and tall trees to roost in. They prefer areas of low elevation and abundant water sources such as farms, ponds, and coastlines. Urban environments also provide crows with agreeable habitats, such as city parks, garbage dumps, residential neighborhoods, and parking lots. During the winter months, crows weather the cold by gathering in large congregations that sometimes total upwards of a thousand birds. Their winter roosts, which take place in tall trees or the rooftops of buildings, act as social gathering places and often occur in the same location year after year. In the spring, smaller family groups of crows return to their nesting territories. Nests are made of twigs and branches, and the interior is lined with soft materials, including feathers, moss, grass, and fur. Entry Are crows known to enter homes or yards? Crows do not typically enter homes, but may nest or roost near human habitations on farms or in urban areas. When large groups of crows gather to roost, they can be extremely loud, especially during the early morning hours just before dawn. The noisy presence of crows is compounded by the fact that their droppings can spur the growth of histoplasmosis fungus, which causes respiratory disease in humans. Damage Do crows harm people or property? Crow damage mainly occurs to farms and gardens, where the birds find easy meals of seeds, grain, corn, fruit, or vegetables. The noise caused by large roosts in towns and cities may disturb residents, and the birds may cause damage to trees or rooftops. Crows may also cause health hazards for humans and livestock by spreading diseases and parasites. Control and Safety Since crows are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, residents may only take steps to control the birds if they pose a threat to property or health. To prevent large numbers of crows from roosting nearby, property owners can thin the branches of large, dense trees. Crows also respond to frightening tactics, such as hanging effigies of dead crows and playing recorded distress calls over loudspeakers. In agricultural areas, wires and fishing line strung over the tops of crops in a grid often prove effective in repelling the birds. Trapping and Removal As crows are intelligent and adaptable animals, traps are largely ineffective. The best method of crow removal is contacting Critter Control. Our trained professionals are well versed in crow behavior and can efficiently remove large populations. Equipped with the necessary resources and knowledge, wildlife control specialists offer safe and legal removal of crow infestations. We can help you get rid of crow problems. Call today: 1.800.274.8837.