How Long Do Crows Live (And What Do They Die From?)

how long do crows live

If you are like most people, chances are you associate the crow with evil thanks to their ability to remember faces and hold grudges. What about lifespan, ever wondered how long crows live?

Here is a summary;

Crows can live for up to 15 years in the wild.

In captivity, they live for up to 7 to 8 years. Crows tend to live longer in captivity than in the wild.

Average Lifespan of a Crow

Studies have shown that for most birds, the smaller the bird, the shorter the lifespan. The crow is a relatively small-sized bird with an average lifespan of crows is 10 to 15 years.

Typically, a crow will go through five stages:

Breeding and nesting

Usually begins around late March and April and involves male and female crows pairing together and beginning to build their nests.

Life inside the egg

After nesting, the female will lay its eggs typically between early May and June. Incubation of eggs takes a period of 18 days.

Nestling Stage

Young chicks stay in the nest for 28 to 35 days been fed by parent crows. At this stage, crow chicks are faced by a number of predators explaining their low survival rate.

Fledgling Stage

At six weeks, fledglings begin to learn how to fly and gradually reduce their independence from their parents. Unfortunately, only one in twenty crows make it through this stage either because of a challenging environment or separation from parents.

Adult Stage

At this stage, crows develop scavenger and predatory skills which increases their chances of survival.

A crow’s lifespan can be affected by a number of factors for instance: crows in captivity live longer than crows in the wild.

1. How long do Crows Live in the Wild?

Generally, crows in the wild live for 7 to 8 years. In the wild, crows have their habitat in a wild range of areas. The longest known crow living in the wild is from America with 29 years.

Common habitats for crows include savanna, riparian forests, and tidal flats. Crows commonly nest and roost in areas where food is easy to find. These areas would include orchards, grasslands and agricultural fields and feed on seeds, grass, and nuts.

How Long Do Crows Live?

In the wild, crows are opportunistic omnivorous eaters who are known for scavenging human waste. The survival of crows in the wild is dependent on their ability to escape predators. Crows will choose to avoid dense forest and thick vegetation so as not to become an easy target for predators.

2. How Long Do Crows Live In Captivity

The average lifespan of crows in captivity is 10 years old. Crows in captivity tend to live longer due to a reduced number of predators, a better environment, and increased availability of food and nutrition. The longest known crow is Tata who was known for living up to 59 years old.

Related article: How long do Parrots live?

What Do Crows Die From?

Crows are likely to dies from the following:

1. Predators

Crows in their hatchling and fledgling stage are very vulnerable to predators due to their decreased skills in protecting themselves. Unfortunately, even adult crows can fall prey to predators.  

Predators include the Golden eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk, and Peregrine Falcons. Bobcats and coyotes can also attack Crows if they let down their guard.

Crows will defensively react to predators by mobbing together to chase away the predator.

2. The West Nile Virus

Compared to other birds, crows are very susceptible to the West Nile virus with minimal survival rates, dying within a week.

The West Nile virus is responsible for a drop in American crow populations. [1]

3. Low conservation efforts

Crows have a “least concern status” in Wildlife Conservation. Regardless of legislations put in place to protect crows, these rules are not widely applied.

Humans however have made steps to recuse the population of crowds due to the diseases they spread, the noise they create and they transmit diseases.

Interesting Facts about Crows

  • Crows have their habitat in every continent except Antarctica.
  • Female crows usually lay about 3 to 9 eggs per clutch.
  • Crows have a gifting habit. Various reports have shown that crows have a habit of intentionally bringing people various objects.
  • A group of crows is referred to as a murder. Ominous, right?

Crows are interesting bird species famous for their intelligence and habitat to give gifts. We hope that this article has helped highlight information on the average lifespan of crows.

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