Hi High Blackbirds: The World’s 7 Most Amazing Crows

Who ya gonna caw? These 7 amazing birds of the genus Corvus (aka Crows) boast astonishing adaptability, distinct voices and impressive intelligence to boot!

American Crow

(image via cuatrok77)

The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is found throughout the continental United States, in southern Canada from coast to coast, and in parts of northern Mexico. This all-black bird has a lifespan of 7 to 8 years in the wild but specimens kept as pets have been known to live up to 30 years.

(image via cuatrok77)

Often described as a pest as they tend to frequent areas of human habitation, American Crows are protected internationally by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. In 2012 BirdLife International estimated the American Crow population to be more than 30 million in the United States alone. The IUCN considers the species to be of Least Concern, however these birds are very susceptible to West Nile Virus and their numbers have dropped by roughly 45% since 1999.

Hooded Crow

(images via hedera.baltica)

The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) is native to central and eastern Europe, western Eurasia, Scandinavia, Scotland and Wales. Not only do they share parts of their range with Carrion Crows and Rooks, all three Corvid species sound much alike – the Hooded Crow stands out due to its visibly contrasting feather pattern.

Figuring large in Celtic mythology, Hooded Crows also display signs of above-average intelligence: in seaside locales they’re often seen lifting crabs and clams high into the air, then dropping them onto rocks to crack the shells.

House Crow

(image via Ting Chen)

And you thought House Flies were bad! The House Crow (Corvus splendens) is native to the Indian subcontinent and adjacent regions to the east and west. This distinctive-looking crow sports a grey-brown neck and breast that contrasts with the birds’ predominantly black plumage.

(image via Ting Chen)

House Crows have spread from their home range in modern times; not “as the crow flies” but by hitch-hiking on human commercial activities like cargo shipping. Nowadays, small populations (VERY small, in the case of a lone House Crow seen in Cork Harbour, southern Ireland since 2010) have established themselves in unexpected locations including St. Petersburg, Florida.

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