Encyclopedia Article


A large, black bird from the genus Corvus, which also includes ravens and jackdaws. Crows are omnivorous birds that consume carrion (dead animal flesh), berries, and insects. Crows are also one of the most intelligent and social animals on the planet, having the ability to form and use tools, engage in sports, and demonstrate the ability to recognize individual facial features and expressions in humans.

Because crows are found on almost every continent, they have a place in many cultural traditions around the world. In some versions of the Navajo tradition, for example, crows are considered dangerous because they eat the flesh of dead animals, which is taboo. On the other had, the ancient Greeks believed that crows could tell the future. In Tibetan Buddhism, the protector of the Dharma takes the form of a crow.

Photo Credit: 

"American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos" by Joe McKenna is licensed under CC BY-NC.