Daddy Crows

Crow dads are not deadbeats. They are active parents working with their partner and an extended family.

Walking with my honey

Raising baby crows is not just a mom thing. Many animals and birds leave that all up to the mothers but not crows. Not only does the parent pair get into co-parenting but so does the youngsters from prior clutches and even grandparents.

Here is an excerpt from a magazine article written by Kevin McGowan of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.  He has studied crows extensively and here is a link if you want to read more by him.  Kevin McGowan Crow FAQ  

Most young birds leave their parents soon after leaving the nest, often being chased away, and never see the parents again. In contrast, American crows never chase away their offspring, and the young may remain at home for years. Some crows stay with their parents for up to five years or even longer. (This past year one six-year-old crow that was marked the first year of my study was still associating with its younger siblings and, it appeared, with its unmarked parents.) Probably no crow breeds before it is two years old, and most don’t breed until later than that. While they wait for a breeding opportunity, most crows help their parents raise young. They help feed the incubating female, feed the nestlings and fledglings, defend the territory and the nest, and stand guard over other family members while they forage. Such cooperative breeding behavior is rare in birds. Only a handful of species in North America exhibit it, and none are as widespread as the American crow.

Today while you BBQ, raise your glass to some of the best and hardest working dads in the bird world… Mr Crow.

One comment

  1. HI Batgurrl, are you a Dr Who fan? even if not, as a crow lover, worth watching the latest episode in series 10 where the Dr finds out why crows say ‘caw’ — all connected with a time when crows could speak humanish, a Pictish woman in early Scotland, and other such magical things. its a very crow-friendly episode! 🙂
    (Oh PS the episode is called Eaters of Light)

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