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Crow, American

The American crow (Corvus brachyrynchos) is a relatively large, thick-necked, uniformly black bird with a purple iridescence on the back and wings. Both sexes are similar, although the female is slightly smaller than the male and has large brood patch during the breeding season. Both the male and female American crow have a heavy, straight black bill, black feet and legs, and brown eyes, and the nasal openings are covered by prominent, stiff, bristle-like feathers. The short tail of the American crow is rounded or squared at the tip, and in flight, the long, finger-like flight feathers are visible at the tips of the broad wings. The juvenile American crow is similar in appearance to the adult, although the black plumage is dull rather than glossy, the feathers are fluffier and looser, and the tail feathers are narrower and more pointed. The feathers of the back, wings and tail are often slightly brown, contrasting with the rest of the body, and the eyes are grey-blue, changing to brown as the juvenile matures. The inside of the mouth is bright red for the first year, later becoming black. Nestlings of the American crow are almost bald, with a light covering of down feathers. The American crow has a wide range of vocalisations, some of which are the mimicked sounds of other species. A short, hoarse ‘ahhh’ is commonly made, which can vary in pitch, emphasis and pattern. Vocalisations may differ between populations, with some having individual ‘dialects'.

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