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Crow Parents, Fearless Defenders

Don't mess with crows when they're nesting!
© T.J. Gehling View Large

Although the American Crow may seem blasé about pillaging another bird's nest, it regards a threat to its own young as a punishable offense. To protect their nest, adult crows dive-bomb people, cats, and other animals, and even other birds (including this kite -- click View Large). Young crows fledge when they are around five or six weeks old, and their parents continue to care for them for months.

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Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Crows Parents, Fearless Defenders
Written by Ellen Blackstone
 
This is BirdNote!

[Alarm call of American Crows protecting a nest]
 
You’re hearing American Crows defending their nest, protecting their young! [More alarm calls of the American Crow]
 
Although the American Crow may seem rather blasé about pillaging another bird’s nest, like that of this House Finch [distress call of the House Finch] it regards a threat to its own young as a punishable offense. Crows are territorial, very protective of their food sources, ferocious and fearless as parents.  [Call of American Crow]
 
Young crows fledge, or leave the nest, when they are around five or six weeks old and nearly the same size as adults. But they still can’t feed or protect themselves. Fortunately, their parents look out for them for months. In fact, immature crows don’t mate until they are at least two years old.  They often stay with the family all that time, learning from the parents and even helping with next year’s brood.
 
To protect their young, adult crows dive-bomb people, cats, and other birds or animals. They strike with their feet, whip with their wings, and peck if they get a chance. The best thing you can do when there are baby crows around is keep your distance! [More calls of American Crows defending their nest]
 
Can’t always hear BirdNote on the radio?  Well sign up at our website, birdnote.org and we’ll send the shows to you.  Click on the link entitled “Weekly Preview.” For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
 
###
 
Calls of the birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Alarm call of the American Crow [105346] recorded by G.A. Keller; distress call of the House Finch [uned.] recorded by G.W. Vyn. 
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer:  John Kessler 
Executive Producer:  Chris Peterson
 
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org   June 2017   Narrator: Mary McCann
 
ID# 061005AMCRKPLU AMCR-03-b 

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