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crow on the ground

Black Bayou Lake NWR



At a Glance

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Our Take on North Louisiana Crows

Crows are opportunists who are found in North Louisiana year round and are, surprisingly, related to blue jays. There are two types of crows in North Louisiana: American crows and fish crows. The Counting Crows are not native to the area. The two species share many of the same behaviors, and honestly, I have no idea how to tell them apart – American crows and fish crows, that is; then again, I’m not sure I can tell the Counting Crows apart, either.

Both American and fish crows eat anything and everything: worms, insects, fruit, seeds, garbage, carrion, and eggs and baby birds that they kidnap from unguarded nests of other species of birds!! I’ll say it again, cannibalism is rude! Because of their proximity to water, fish crows eat more turtle eggs, crawfish and small fish than American crows, but fish crows are crows and will eat from garbage containers if the opportunity presents itself. Both species will pick over discarded food containers and steal food from other animals either by attacking the animals or by distracting them.

While you will occasionally see a single crow hopping around, crows tend to travel in flocks, or as I call them, gangs. A crow family works together to raise the young. Small flocks of crows may include only one family, but individual crows also join larger flocks at places with a large amount of easy food like dumps and agricultural fields. They sometimes congregate in cemeteries. Wildlife experts think it’s because they gravitate to open areas; I think it’s because they need a quiet place to practice necromancy or destroy evidence of their crimes. A group of crows is a murder, after all.

They also tend to join larger roosts in winter. American crows typically build nests where a branch and trunk meet above the top third of the tree. Fish crows build their nests near the tops of trees, and may nest in colonies with other birds (whose nests they in turn raid). While American crows live everywhere, fish crows live primarily near large bodies of fresh water, mainly rivers and lakes.

Crows are aggressive and often chase away larger birds including hawks, owls, and herons. They will mob enemies, particularly predators that edge too close to their nesting area. They are also good problem-solvers, and can make tools if necessary. Y’all they make tools! Crows. Make. Tools. Forget the machines; it’s the crow uprising we should worry about.

Where to Find North Louisiana Crows

Crows have adapted to humans easily, and you’ll see American crows in a variety of places. Towns, the edges of forests, pastures, parks, marshes, along highways, rivers, lots, cemeteries, and landfills are just a few of their favorite hangouts. Fishing crows will also be in these places if they are near water. So, in review: pastures, towns (especially on roofs), parks, marshes, forests, along highways, rivers, lots, cemeteries, and landfills, and North Louisiana crows near water might be fishing crows. Then, again, they could be American crows.