Northwestern Crow – Profile | Facts | Range | Call | Traits

Northwestern Crow

Northwestern Crow, scientific name Corvus brachyrhynchos caurinus is a giant, shiny, blackbird with a long, strong bill. They could be distinguished from Common Ravens by their smaller size, straight or barely rounded tails, and higher-pitched voices.

Northwestern Crow profile

Ravens even have more large bills and longer, shaggier feathers at their throats. Northwestern Crows are smaller than the carefully associated American Crows and have decrease, huskier voices.

Many authorities consider that the Northwestern Crow just isn’t a real species, however a subspecies of the American Crow.

The northwestern crow is an all-black passerine bird of the crow genus native to the northwest of North America.

It is a subspecies of the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), however, it averages barely smaller (33–41 cm in size) than the nominate subspecies with proportionately smaller feet and a barely more slender bill.

This taxon is probably unattainable to determine within the area and is essentially recognized by range, although even that technique is contested.

Geographic Range

Corvus caurinus lives solely alongside the coast of the northeastern Pacific Ocean between southern Alaska and the northern tip of Washington.

Northwestern Crow Overview

Forages readily at water’s edge and in water as much as the stomach at occasions. Usually walks on seashores, mudflats, and different open areas looking for many kinds of meals.

Sometimes raids nests for eggs and nestlings, eats berries, and even flycatchers. The highly social exterior of the breeding season, touring in flocks that forage, soar, play, mob predators, and roost collectively.

Nests in coastal areas with sparse timber (not within the deep forest), generally on the ground, often very close to tidal areas.

Some breed on offshore islands, however, returns to the mainland afterward. Forages in lots of kinds of habitat, together with residential, industrial, and agricultural areas.


This subspecies’ plumage is nearly identical to that of the American crow. Individuals could also be distinguished by in-hand standards resembling smaller wing chord and tail size, shorter tarsus, and smaller bill.

Identification percentages improve when the sex of the animal is thought. Like the American crow, the sexes look identical.

Older birds in breeding situations could also be reliably sexed by in-hand standards resembling cloacal protuberance (male) or by brood patch (feminine). Younger birds might not attain breeding situations as they help on the nest.

Northwestern Crow Habitat

Near tidewater, shores. Generally discovered near the quick shoreline. Often alongside open seashores, rocky shores, tidal estuaries, coastal ponds, inshore islands. Also forages in woods and fields near shore. Only often strikes to fields a number of miles inland.

Corvus caurinus lives primarily in coastal areas close to intertidal zones, however could be discovered alongside giant rivers so far as 120 km inland.

They are usually close to, however not essentially in, forested areas and can pull back into the forest edge throughout harsh climate situations in winter.

Northwestern crows are additionally more likely to dwell close to seabird colonies and refuse dumps.

They have additionally been discovered dwelling in river deltas, coastal bays, coastal villages, cities, and cities, in addition to on farmland. They could be discovered at elevations as much as 1700 m.

Northwestern Crow Voice

The voice could be very diversified, and plenty of varieties of calls are made, however, the commonest is often described as a high-pitched “caw” and the sound of a cork popping out of a bottle.

A “wok-wok-wok” is given by a bird in flight if straggling behind the group, and varied clicks and mechanical sounding rattles are additionally heard.


A big songbird with a long, thick bill, long, broad wings, reasonably long tail, and heavy legs and feet.


All plumages are fully black. Adults can present a bluish-violet sheen in simply the right light.


Corvus caurinus, Northwestern Crow usually lives about 12 years within the wild, if it fledges. The longest recognized lifespan is 17 years. About 10% of eggs fail to hatch and plenty of hatchlings both starve or are killed before they depart the nest.

Some fledglings in coastal territories fall into the ocean and drown or are killed by neighboring colonies of gulls. The illness accounts for few deaths in C. caurinus populations.

The major recognized reason for the loss of life is leisure capturing in British Columbia, however, meals availability might be a big thing about figuring out inhabitants’ sizes. Corvus caurinus usually are not stored in captivity.

Northwestern Crow Behavior

Corvus caurinus, Northwestern Crow spends the breeding season in territorial pairs. After the fledgling interval, they regularly lower territorial behavior, and ultimately, all the family goes to dwell in a big roosting community.

Yearlings and non-mating adults stay within the roosting community year-round. Within a roosting community, sure birds will act as sentries, conserving an eye fixed out for obtainable meals, possible thieves, and predators.

They talk with the remainder of the flock by calls. Immature birds and fledglings have been recognized to play with each other whereas in flight.

Northwestern Crow doesn’t have a set hierarchy inside roosting teams, however, males are typically dominant over females, and females are dominant over yearlings and fledglings.

When there’s a breeding helper, the helper is subordinate to each adult however dominant over some other adults trespassing on their territory.

Northwestern crows stroll, hop and fly. They fly with a gentle, regular wing-beat and make use of robust winds to glide alongside cliffs.

They fly at about 30 km/h and have a wing-beat that’s sooner than that of American crows (C. brachyrhynchos).

They are very maneuverable in flight. They have additionally been seen enjoying video games, flying high into the air so as to drop a stick or stone from their claws or beak then rush back down to know it once more.

northwestern crow

Northwestern Crow Communication

Northwestern Crow C. caurinus talk primarily with calls. They have a wide range of calls with meanings that range from threatening territorial protection calls to begging or feeding calls.

Males have a selected call that they use to sign to brooding females that they’re bringing meals and she or he ought to come to get some.

They are very vocal in roosting teams and use warning calls and mob calls that may shortly carry the entire community collectively so as to scare off a would-be predator.

They additionally have interaction in some visible shows, largely to declare dominance, territory rights, and to sign a willingness to mate.

Northwestern Crow Food Habits

Northwestern crows are omnivorous scavengers. They can and can eat nearly something they will discover. Their diet ranges from small invertebrates to human rubbish, to fruit, relying on what’ is accessible.

Along coasts, they feed primarily on clams (Venerupis philippinarum and Protothaca staminea) crustaceans, and sand {dollars} (Dendraster excentricus).

The crows decide these animals up, fly high into the air and drop them on rocks so as to break them open. They have additionally been recognized to eat sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) off of rocks and to steal eggs and nestlings from peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and cormorants (family Phalacrocoracidae), amongst others.

Blackberries are a necessary part of their diet, as are many types of carrion resembling fish, lifeless seals, lifeless birds, roadkill, and lifeless bugs from the grills of automobiles.

They could be seen strolling alongside the shore, digging by the sand for clams, stabbing the ground looking for bugs, and wading in shallow tide swimming pools. They have additionally been recognized to root by rubbish cans and landfills.

Northwestern Crow Diet

Omnivorous. Seems to feed on something it may possibly discover in its habitat, together with fish, crabs, shellfish, carrion, rubbish, varied bugs, berries, nuts, seeds, and birds’ eggs (particularly in seabird colonies).

Forages largely whereas strolling on the ground or in very shallow water; additionally generally forages in timber. May think about salmon runs together with different birds.

Flies up into the air carrying mussels, and drops them on rocks to interrupt them openly. May retailer meals on territory and retrieves them later.

Northwestern Crow Breeding

Young Northwestern Crow most likely attain sexual maturity between 15 and 20 months. They copulate and start constructing nests from early February by late March.

Northwestern Crow breeds as soon as yearly, however, they are going to renest if disturbed early within the season. The feminine selects a spot to construct the nest, usually in or beneath timber, shrubs, blackberry tangles, or tall grass.

Nest-building happens solely throughout daylight and in a good climate. Nests are constructed with branches damaged off of timber, grass, and moss in addition to different objects and soil. Northwestern Crows line their nests with moss, gull and crow feathers, and sheep’s wool, amongst different issues.


4-5. Dull blue-green to gray-green blotched with brown and grey. Incubation is by females solely, about 18 days. Young: Fed by each parent, and generally by one-year-old “helpers.” Age when younger depart the nest not well-known, most likely near Four weeks.


Fed by each parent, and generally by one-year-old “helpers.” Age when younger depart the nest not well-known, most likely near Four weeks.

Northwestern Crow Nesting

Usually solitary in nesting, not in colonies. Offspring from the earlier year might stay on nesting territory of adult pair; these “helpers” help in mobbing predators, might or might not help with feeding the nestlings.

Nest site is often within the fork of tree or shrub; generally positioned on the ground (sheltered by rocks) on islands. Nest (constructed by each sex) is a cumbersome platform of sticks, bark, plant fibers, and dust, lined with softer materials resembling grass, animal fur, and rootlets.

Conservation Status

This species is protected by the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Overall, (C. caurinus) has benefited from human contact as a result of people filter deep forests creating more of the open, forest fringe during which these crows thrive in.

Other Recommended Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *