Crows are a big part of human life, from religions and beliefs across the globe to their physical presence in cities.
Since medieval times, crows have been close to humans like doves and other birds, growing our curiosity about them.
Despite this, there are still some aspects about the crow we are yet to understand, and we need to look into.
The eating habits of this ominous bird are one of these aspects. Let us take a deeper look into the crows’ life to understand it;
Do Crows Eat Other Birds?
Crows are omnivorous, which puts both meat and greens and everything in between in their diet. Crows kill and eat anything from insects, small reptiles, and even small birds, especially hatchlings.
However, crows can eat even adult birds if they can kill them, making crows one of the many birds that eat young and adult prey. They also eat mollusks, seeds, insects, fruits, and seeds.
Crows In Religion And Superstition
Crows have a significant role to play in most religions. Like doves, they were used as messenger birds, and humans believed them to be messengers from the higher beings of several faiths.
The crow is common in Norse beliefs, and here are some details on what crows stood for;
In astrology, the crow is linked to planet Saturn, and it was a messenger from the gods. It came as a warning of good times ahead or danger depending on the specific situation in which it was spotted.
A crow can be a sign of a good omen. For instance, if you see a crow carrying a flower or a leaf in its beak, it was a sign that you would succeed in whatever you were pursuing.
These were viewed as signs from higher beings that they were with the humans in their endeavors.
Another belief is that a crow is a sign of coming guests. If a crow sings on your balcony or verandah, it is believed to indicate that you will have some guests soon. This is the case if only one crow comes to your place.
If many crows come and make noise on your balcony or veranda without any reason, then it is a sign that something terrible will happen to your family soon. However, you can avoid calamity by feeding the crows.
If many crows gather at a junction to your area or they cross it, it means that something bad is going to happen in that area. If you see a crow shaking its feathers, it means that a loved one will die soon.
If you plan to start a project, you see a crow itching its head; it is a good omen. It indicates that you will succeed in whatever you plan on getting into.
However, a crow seated on a pile of coals means that you will have many problems shortly. It is also an omen of success when a group of crows comes to eat in front of you.
This means that they are not all bad; they have many promising signs that could even outweigh the bad. Another good omen is seeing a crow drinking water.
This indicates you will win a competition, a race, a court case, or you will have a sudden gain of wealth.
A crow with flesh in its mouth is a sign of imminent financial success. However, if it has a dead stick, you will get into some trouble with the law.
If you see a crow in your dreams and talking to you, it is a sign of coming troublesome times. More beliefs depend on the specific location, and more are being adopted as historians learn more about ancient civilizations.
Reasons To Like Crows
Most people see crows as bad birds despite all the research that has proven otherwise over the years.
Crows deserve love and respect because under that ominous black foliage is a beautiful and brilliant bird.
Crows have a lot of interesting behaviors, some that are similar to those of humans, and here are some of them;
1. They are monogamous
Just like humans, crows also tend to remain with one partner, but they are more serious about it than humans. Crow pairs stay together for life in most cases, with separation being because of death.
Interestingly, they don’t go searching for mates as soon as they mature. Crows can spend years after maturity before they finally find a mate, which could be the reason for the couple lasting. They remain with their parents and siblings until they get a mate.
The pair stays fairly close after the union. During the mating season, the male guards the female crow, and once the eggs are laid, he stays around the nest to keep it safe from predators.
Crows are family-oriented; thus, young will stay with their parents and siblings for a few years before mating.
2. They maintain family ties for life
The young stay with their families for several years before going out on their own. A single family can have up to 15 individuals, including parents, grandparents, and siblings from previous years.
They have communal roosts every night in winter to keep them safe and warm, and most of these consist of several families.
Young crows stay and help raise their parent’s newest brood by bringing food to their mother and the hatchlings.
They also protect the nest area by staying outside as lookouts for any coming danger.
3. They hold funerals
If you still have doubts about just how advanced crows are, here is something to think about. It is not as complex as a human funeral, but it is a funeral.
If a crow dies, the flock will come and surround the deceased to mourn it. They also try to figure out what killed the bird.
If it is a bird of prey, they will band together and chase it away to keep the rest of the population safe. The bond between crows is impressive and rare in the animal kingdom.
Difference Between A Raven And A Crow
Crows and ravens resemble each other, and most people refer to them interchangeably because they can’t tell the difference.
Here is a guide on a few features that can help you distinguish the two birds for a better understanding of each;
1. Size and appearance
This difference is evident when you look at the two birds side by side, but they are rarely in the same space.
A crow weighs about 1.5 pounds, while a raven weighs about 3 pounds, making it almost double the size of a crow.
While in flight, the raven is thicker with a wingspan of between 46 and 54 inches, while a crow has 32 to 38 inches.
The raven has a diamond-shaped tail that is not separated. On the other hand, the crow has a small space that separates feathers on its left tail side from those on the right.
The beak of a crow is smaller and sharper than that of a raven. Another distinct feature is the hook at the end of the beak, which is common in ravens but is not found in crows.
2. Behavioral differences
A crow seems somewhat nervous when it lands since it flutters its feathers and bobs up and down the perch.
On the other hand, a raven is much more secure when it lands unless there are strong winds that cause it to flutter the wings trying to find balance.
When a crow makes its call, it will bob up and down as it makes it, a raven slightly leans forward, and it will only shake its shoulders as it makes the call.
Crows also tend to flap much more than ravens since they can’t soar.
Ravens create momentum with their wings; then, they soar for a long distance with a few flaps in between. Crows, on the other hand, can only glide when they are descending from high altitudes.
When fighting an opponent, crows are more aggressive, and they tend to dive bomb other birds. A raven will escort the intruder out, flying with it instead of dive-bombing.
Crows are omnivorous birds, and they are not picky about what they eat. They will eat anything they can find, from seeds, fruit, eggs, or other birds. They eat both hatchlings and mature birds if they can get to them.
Crows have always been associated with bad luck because of their appearance and ominous call.
However, there are a lot of superstitions to do with crows that are signs of good luck. In addition to this, crows are highly social and intelligent animals.
Crows live with their family for years before going out to find a mate. When they get mates, most of them pair for a lifetime and remain close to their parents.
The complex dynamic in the relationship between crows is proof that there is more to this bird than meets the eye.