Depredating birds

Crows are frequently found or taken as nestlings and make very personable, if illegal, pets. The usual reasons given are that they are noisy, or that they kill little birds.Crows have had a bad reputation for a long time, being portrayed as evil despoilers of corn crops and the brazen tormentors of the poor scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.American crows are long-lived birds (up to 30 years old), and do not begin to breed until they are at least 2 years old, often older.Breeding pairs remain together "for life," or until one becomes incapacitated.And, as if things were not bad enough, the crow has an ugly, coarse caw, despite being in the same avian order as nightingales, wrens, and mockingbirds.

American crows, at least in the southern and eastern parts of their range, maintain a territory year round, although they defend it less in winter.

Some are fond of them, perhaps because the crow's apparent intelligence makes it more humanlike than most other birds.

Or perhaps it is because of the person's familiarity with a pet crow at some time in their life.

The American crow is the most widespread and familiar of the four species of crow found in North America.

It ranges from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, and from the southeastern edge of Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, absent only from the deserts and treeless shortgrass prairies of the American West.

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