Fun facts about crows

We take crows for granted. They’re those ugly garbage-eating birds that hang out in parking lots and crap on cars, right?

Well, sure, but there’s much more to them than that.

You can train a crow to collect loose change and bring it to you.

Crowbox will send you instructions on how to build a “vending machine” that crows will insert change into in exchange for peanuts, or whatever else they might eat. I saw one swallow several French fries whole earlier.

If they’ll do that, what else will they do? Could you get one to swoop down and “yoink” dollar bills or debit cards out of people’s hands at a food truck or outdoor ticket booth? Could you train a crow to attack someone? Maybe, because crows remember human faces and hold grudges.

Yes, if you wrong a crow, or if it just plain doesn’t like your face, it will remember, and let you know exactly what it thinks of you. I’ve witnessed this, and it’s kind of adorable but also creepy. What makes it even more extraordinary is that one crow can teach others that you’re a “bad” human and then they’ll hate you too. Seriously.

Crows can use tools . No, calm down, not regular “tools,” but they can use things from their environment as tools. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is. More on crows and tools.

Crows have “funerals.”

Sure, they supposedly only gather around their dead in order to determine whether a threat to the rest of them exists, but we don’t know that they aren’t mourning. Crows are intelligent, long-lived animals. Maybe more intelligent than dogs, and I know that dogs mourn the loss of their friends. Crows live longer than most dogs, as well.

How long do they live? The general consensus seems to be 7-14 years, if something doesn’t kill them much earlier. They can apparently live much longer in captivity.

Crows can talk, like parrots. Check it out!

Clearly, crows are much more intelligent and complex than they’re generally given credit for. And they like Cheerios, I’ve personally discovered. I found this out while eating a bowl of them in my car, of course, like any totally normal person would(yes, milk and all) and tossing them a few.

Next time you see a crow, ask it how its day is going. And if it wants Cheerios. The answer may surprise you.



  1. I’d never given them much thought until recently. Now I want to build one of those crowboxes and have them bring me change. Never see them near my house, though, so that might not work. Probably because there are hawks around. I discovered this the other day when I went out and saw one tearing up a bird carcass in my yard. Broke its skull open like a walnut and ate its brains. Then it took off with what was left in its talons when it became aware of me.

  2. Wow. What an incredible experience to watch. Fascinating. I have an owl that lives on my property but I only get to hear it hoo, never see it.

    I’ve seen crows do some cool things. There was one down in town that lived at the McDonalds for years with only one leg and a malformed beak… and I know if people weren’t throwing them fries that one would have never survived. I could never figure out how it could eat but I guess it figured it out.

  3. One autumn I was living in this travel trailer and this one crow would come shit on my car and walk on the roof of the trailer *click, click, click* and I would go out and yell out it to go somewhere else. Well then, it obviously told its friends because then a few more showed up. Same thing, I went out and yelled out them. Then days later there were more… and more… until there were about thirty of the bastards. And they would sit in the tree next to the trailer until I got home, then they would all start talking loudly and would land on the trailer and car and shit and squawk and walk around on that metal roof. Oh. My. God. It was horrible. I won’t explain how I got them to stop, because it’s a bit cruel but I made an example of one in front of the others…. (I was, after all, 19 and not very nice in those days). But it worked.

  4. Living where I do in rural Alaska, I see them probably a bit more frequently. They are pretty cool. Silent fliers. I love all the different calls the different ones have.

  5. I would imagine so. I only recently found out there were hawks in my neighborhood. We do have a ton of lizards, who I love because they eat bugs

  6. Years back, I did research on which animal would be most likely to evolve human-like intelligence. The octopus is at the top of the list, but crows are very close behind. They make and use tools, they’re social, they play games… they’re amazingly impressive creatures!

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