Did you know baby crows are able to leave the nests and fly at 2 to 3 weeks after incubation? Still, the parents feed their babies until around 50 to 60 more days. Once baby crows leave the nests, they get along with the adults in the wild.
So, why do you never see baby crows? The main reason is baby crows are about the same size as adults by the time they can leave the nests and fly. This means you may see baby crows but don’t recognize them. Look at their duller plumage and a bit stubbier beaks.
Apart from that, there are a few more reasons why you don’t see baby crows. In this article, we’re going to talk about all that, including some related queries. Hope you stay with us until the end. Here is another article for you: Ravens vs. Crows.
Related Blog: Do Crows Attack Owls? [Read here]
Why Don’t You Ever See Baby Crows?
Three reasons are out there why you may not see baby crows around.
#1. Crows Build Their Nests High In Trees
Crow usually build their nests very high in trees, and they’re quite protective of their nests, mates, and chicks. The adult crows are so sneaky. They always keep an eye on humans and other predators. That’s why you don’t see the babies.
Are you willing to see what a crow nest looks like from above?
This is what a crow nest looks like from below.
#2. Baby Crows May Haven’t Left the Nests Yet
Typically, baby crows don’t leave the nests unless they accidentally fall out. Featherless baby crows feel quite happy in their warm, cozy nests under their parents’ care. Once fully fledged, they leave the nests (sometimes with a kick in the rear from parents).
The reason you rarely see baby crows is you don’t usually look in the nests, right? Since crows choose large trees to make their nests, if you don’t explore their habitat by climbing trees up or rummaging in hedges, you may not see them.
#3. Fully-Fledged Baby Crows Are the Same Size as Average Adults
Baby crows aren’t necessarily what we see as human babies. By the time baby crows leave the nests and fly around, they look almost the same size as average adult crows. See the image below.
There are a few signs to identify the babies among the flock. For example, the inside part of the young crows’ mouths is pink. Without the sign, it’s really difficult for humans to tell the babies and adults apart.
#4. Baby Crows Are Hidden Beneath a Shrubbery
Some baby crows may leave their nests before learning to fly. They stay on the ground for several days. Parent crows hide these fallen chicks quickly beneath a shrubbery. That’s why we hardly see them. You may hardly see wide-eyed, round, little fluffballs.
Are you wondering why the parents hide their chicks? This is because potential predators, like raccoons, dogs, giant cats, may harm baby crows. They can even kill and eat the babies. Besides, you may harm on-the-ground baby crows unconsciously.
How to Identify a Baby Crow
If you don’t know how to identify baby crows among adults, you cannot recognize older babies as babies. Here are a few ways to recognize baby crows.
#1. Pay Close Attention to the Signs Baby Crows Have
Typically, baby crows have pink mouths. They feature shorter tails, duller fluffy feathers, and stubbier beaks as well. Plus, they’re constantly begging for food by making annoying sounds (like high-pitched waah, waah).
Most importantly, American crows and Torresian crows (when they’re babies) have blue eyes. The eyes of American crows turn black with time. On the other hand, the eyes of adult Torresian crows become brown, hazel, and finally white with a blue ring.
By the way, there are 40 species of crows out there in today’s world (according to PBS). So, without knowing where a specific crow lives, it would be hard for you to identify them. Check a specific crow species before identifying their babies and adults.
#2. See If Crows Are Learning To Fly
If you see a crow trying to fly but hopping from one place to another, it might be a baby crow. Typically, baby crows learn to fly by hopping and fluttering to get up for short landings, using their feet to climb the high roosts up.
In general, crows try to learn flying once they get fully feathered at 2 to 3 weeks after incubation. They have visited their parents for several years after leaving the nest. That’s why crows are recognized as the smartest songbirds.
#3. Don’t Confuse a Baby Crow with Another Blackbird Species
The babies of other blackbird species may look similar to baby crows. You may confuse a baby crow with a baby bird of ravens, jackdaws, rooks, choughs, etc. That’s why you should know the characteristics of these blackbirds.
For example, baby jackdaws are born with blue-grey eyes, while the eyes of baby crows are blue. On the other hand, the eyes of a baby raven are black. This bird has a thick neck with distinctive shaggy feathers.
What Are Baby Crows Called?
Like other birds, baby crows are usually called chicks. As long as baby crows don’t have feathers, they’re considered nestlings. By the time they grow feathers, they’re called fledglings. This stage ranges from 27-38 days to 1 year of age.
The babies that live with their parents after 1 year are called yearlings. Remember, once baby crows leave the nests and live independently, they’re not considered baby birds any longer. However, crows may visit their parents after several years they left the nests.
How Many Babies Do Crows Have At Once?
Crows usually have 2 to 3 babies at once. Typically, they lay 1 to 6 eggs which take 18 days to be incubated. The baby crows stay in the nest for 27 to 38 days. They may leave the nest to spend several days on the ground before being able to fly properly.
|Clutch Size||3 to 9 eggs|
|Number of Babies||2 to 3|
|Egg Length × Width||3.6-4.7 × 2.6-3.1 cm|
|Incubation Period||16 to 18 days|
|Nestling Period||27 to 38 days|
How Long Do Baby Crows Stay with Parents?
Baby crows usually stay with their parents for several years. Most young crows leave the nests after 20 to 30 days even if they can’t fly well. While other baby birds never see their parents, baby crows can visit their parents after several years they left the nests.
Unlike other birds, American crows, for example, never chase their young. The babies remain in the nests for years. Researchers found 5-year old crows living with their parents. Even yearling crows help their parents to raise the siblings.
Should You Watch Baby Crows’ Transition
We don’t suggest disturbing the crow nests and what’s inside by climbing high up in trees. Parent crows would be worried and consider you as a predator. If you’re still willing to watch baby crow’s transition, here is what you can do.
- Take a camera.
- Sit and watch.
- Keep yourself away.
If possible, you can set a CCTV near the crow nest when parent crows are not there. Once mounted, the CCTV will let you see how baby crows are incubated, nestlings, fledglings, and yearlings. You can also see how baby crow leaves the nest.
What To Do If You Find A Baby Crow
If you find a baby crow on the ground, fallen out of its nest, you shouldn’t touch it. Wait for the mother if she takes care of it. If the mother doesn’t come, you can take care of it by following a few steps.
#1. Bring the Baby Crow to a Wildlife Rehabilitator
If you find an injured or healthy baby crow fallen out of its nest during a nasty storm, you should bring it to the nearby wildlife rehabilitator. He/she will take care of it and be able to tell you what to do or what not to do.
#2. Take It Home & Feed It on Bread Soaked in Milk
If you don’t find a wildlife rehabilitation center in your area, take the baby bird home and feed it on some bread soaked in milk. The baby crow will love it. Since it doesn’t meet its mother, you have to take the responsibility of its parent until it can fly away.
#3. Keep the Baby in a Cozy Cardboard Box
Once you feed the baby bird, keep it in a comfortable cardboard box. By this time, the bird will have considered you to be its mother. Once felt happy, it can be very affectionate to you. It would sit on your shoulders and head as well.
#4. Teach It To Fly
If the baby crow can’t fly yet, teach it to fly. Call a friend of yours to help you. Your friend will throw the baby crow to you, and so will you. This way, the baby bird will learn how to flap its wings and fly.
In a nutshell, baby crows are hardly seen because they look like adults once fully-fledged. In contrast, many people sometimes see baby crows fallen on the ground. Still, the parents feed them until it’s able to fly away.
However, we hope you have learned a lot about why you don’t ever see baby crows. If you have ever seen a baby crow, what was your experience with it? Share it below in the comment section.