Breeding in American crows may begin as early as February and last through June. Nests are usually built by both males and females high in a sturdy conifer or hardwood tree. Females lay 4 to 5 light green colored eggs with brown markings. The female incubates her eggs, which means that she sits on them to keep the eggs warm until they hatch. Eggs hatch after 18 days. While she is sitting on the nest, the female will beg for food like a baby bird, and her mate will bring it to her. The young fledge (leave the nest) when they are approximately 35 days old. Most American crows reach sexual maturity and begin to breed when they are two years old.
Breeding interval: American crows rear only a single brood each year; if a nest fails early in the breeding season the pair may try to lay a second clutch of eggs.
Breeding season: Breeding occurs from February through June.
Range eggs per season: 4 to 5.
Average eggs per season: 4.
Average time to hatching: 18.0 days.
Average fledging age: 35.0 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2.0 years.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2.0 years.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); fertilization
Average time to hatching: 18 days.
Average eggs per season: 5.
Young crows are helpless at birth and require parental care. They are fed by both parents as well as by helpers who are their older siblings. After they leave their nests, young are still clumsy for several weeks and must be fed and protected by family members during the summer. Parents have been observed to feed babies even after they can find food on their own.
Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Protecting: Male, Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female)
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