At approximately 16-21 inches tall with a wingspan of 33-39 Inches, and a weight of 11-22 ounces, the American Crow might look quite similar to the common Raven, but is actually much smaller. A juvenile Crow is actually about the same size as the adults, sharing the deep black feathers and legs, but the rich brown color of the eyes doesn't come until the blue eyed juvenile grows into an adult. This rapid growth is very beneficial to the social system of the Crows, which is very family oriented.
A Crow won't leave the family's territory after they have fledged, instead staying to help protect the area until sexual maturity at about two years old. This plays a huge role in the incredible intelligence of the Crow, having a long period of learning from previous generations before having to fend for themselves.
The large social groupings, from tens to thousands of crows in the winter, have been observed to recognize the faces of humans who have positive and negative interactions with one Crow. Although it isn't clear how the information is communicated, it is clear that more and more members of the flock will react appropriately to the individual human, and this communication will be passed down three separate generations. One human who was mean to a crow will set off the alarm of crows who weren't even born when the incident occurred! This incredible social structure and amount of communication proves that there is so much more to nature than most even begin to realize.
These incredibly intelligent birds have been known to use sticks to poke at grubs in a rotting trunk, then pulling it out when the grub bites the stick. They will take a hard shelled nut up into the air to the perfect height to drop it, cracking the shell, but not shattering the nut. They even understand how to moisten a hard pretzel or other stale piece of baked goods by dunking it in water.
Once a Crow reaches sexual Maturity and breeding season begins, starting as early as February and lasting until June, the male and female will build their nest high up in a Conifer or Hardwood tree. The female lays 4-5 light green eggs with brown markings. These babies will hatch in about 18 days, and the young will fledge in about 35, starting this amazing process all over again.