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Large, intelligent songbirds, members of the genus Corvus occur on all continents except for South America and Antarctica. Larger forms are called "ravens," most are called "crows" and the two smallest (in their own sub-genus) are called "jackdaws." The palette for their plumage is dominated by black, with some species showing gray, white, or rarely brown. Making up for the lack of visual variety, crows and ravens utter a wide variety of sounds, from loud and harsh cawing to softer rattles and knocks and coos. Most species prefer open areas and are often seen foraging on the ground. Though many species thrive in areas highly impacted by humans, and some have become nuisances or invasives, several island species are threatened.

The genus includes several species notable for their behavior. New Caledonian Crows are accomplished toolmakers. Several species drop clams or nuts onto roadways to crack them open. Many species are featured in mythology and art.


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© Cyndy Parr

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