Baby Crows: Everything You Need to Know

Baby crows in a nest

While adult crows are often associated with mischief, baby crows are downright charming. These young birds have a lot to learn and are eager to do it in the most adorable way possible.

Further, as they navigate their early days, they display some of the most endearing behaviors of all time. From knowing how to fly to putting on a show for their parents, these chicks will delight you with their antics.

In this article, everything you need to know about baby crows will be revealed. Whether you’re interested in understanding their appearance or diet, all you have to do is keep reading!

What Does a Baby Crow Look Like?

Hungry baby crows

When breeding season rolls around, many get curious about what baby crows look like.

Born as hatchlings, baby crows, also referred to as chicks, start life naked or without feathers, accompanied by bright blue eyes and pink beaks. Such a fragile appearance doesn’t last long, though.

Around two weeks into their lives, they transition into nestlings. At this phase, you’ll see them start to develop black feathers, looking somewhat shaggy and fluffy overall.

Their eyes and beaks will begin to change as well. They will now exhibit brown eyes and blackish bills. By the time they become fledglings, these little crows’ black-colored feathers grow longer and more defined.

Finally, as they mature into juvenile crows, you will notice that their resemblance to the crow family becomes more evident.

Baby Crow Pictures and Videos

If you have not seen a real baby crow, this section is here to help. We included a few pictures and videos to showcase the cuteness of these little birds.

To begin, watch this video of crow eggs transforming into hatchlings:

Crow nest - from eggs to chicks before your eyes - see the birdy action high above Delhi traffic!

In addition, below is a photo of a group of young crows waiting for their mother to return to the nest:

Baby crows waiting for their mother to return to the nest

Interestingly, the following is an image of how crow parents regurgitate food to their chicks:

Crow parent regurgitating food to its chicks

This video of two rescued fledgling crows being hand-fed by humans is also worth watching:

Baby Crows Being Fed at Cornell's Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center

On another note, if you are interested in seeing what a Carrion crow chick looks like, here is a photo:

Carrion crow chick appearance

Meanwhile, an American crow juvenile looks like this:

American crow juvenile

Overall, the appearance of baby crows varies according to their age.

When newly hatched, they are featherless; when they become fledglings, their feathers begin to grow; and when they reach their juvenile phase, they start looking like adult crows.

How Big Is a Baby Crow?

When you first see baby crows, they’re surprisingly small. Just after hatching, these young birds measure only a few inches long. However, nature has its pace, and they rapidly grow.

In fact, within these chicks’ initial 30 days — as they become more active around the nest and start to venture out — their growth is quite noticeable.

Specifically, a little crow can be expected to reach a length of 14 to 17 inches at this point in its life. It will continue to grow for several more weeks until it reaches its full adult size of about 22 inches long.

How Much Do Baby Crows Weigh?

Sleeping baby crows in a nest

At birth, baby crows or crow nestlings weigh only about one ounce or roughly 30 grams. However, their growth is swift, and within a few weeks, these baby birds tip the scales at 8 to 10 ounces.

As they mature and move closer to leaving the nest, they approach their adult weight, ranging between 11 and 20 ounces, showcasing the rapid development typical of this bird species.

How Long Do Baby Crows Stay With Their Parents?

Typically, baby crows stay in the nest for around 20 days after hatching. Once they’ve left their crow nest, though, many do not wander far immediately.

For instance, some choose to stay within the family unit, accompanying their parents for months, and in certain species of crows, even up to five years.

Remarkably, several young ones in these crow families often display cooperative breeding in crows, helping their parents raise the next set of offspring.

To be exact, these helpers assist with everything from incubating to grooming and building a nest to feeding the chicks.

What Do Baby Crows Eat?

Baby crows being fed by their mother

When baby crows hatch, they depend on their parents for food. Their mothers and fathers feed them grubs, earthworms, and other invertebrates.

As these chicks become nestlings, their diet broadens, and they are fed more solid food like meat scraps, beetles, spiders, reptiles, and grasshoppers.

However, note that this bird’s adaptability is impressive, as every single crow species is remarkably flexible when it comes to food.

Simply put, by the time these chicks leave the nest and start foraging on the ground, you can expect them to eat almost anything — whether it be seeds, plants, vegetables, or even trash.

How Do Crows Feed Their Babies?

Feeding the chicks is a collaborative effort within the group of crows. Generally, fathers and helpers leave their nests to forage for food, searching both in the air and on the ground, while mothers remain with the young.

Once the food is found, it’s not directly given to the baby crows. Instead, the food is regurgitated by their parents, meaning that they digest it and spit it back out into their young’s mouths.

This process is necessary, as hatchlings cannot yet swallow solid food until they are about 2 to 3 weeks old.

How Rare Is It to See a Baby Crow?

Baby crows with open mouth

Spotting baby crows is a rare event, primarily because they grow at a notably quick pace.

However, on the few occasions when you might see one, it’s typical to find them sitting on the ground rather than the usual crow behavior of perching on high branches.

Don’t confuse them with baby ravens, though. While they are in the same genus as crows — Corvusravens are much larger and have longer wings than their smaller cousins.

From my own encounters, I remember stumbling upon an American crow baby in its natural habitat. It was on the ground, seemingly unsure of its surroundings.

This brief encounter left me with a sense of awe, as it’s not every day you get to see this type of baby bird in action.

What Do Crow Eggs Look Like?

Crow eggs appearance

If you’re curious about what crow eggs look like, they are distinct and easy to identify. They measure about two inches in length and an inch in width, with a bluish-green hue sprinkled with brown spots.

However, be aware that a crow’s egg color isn’t limited to just blue-green. Some crows lay eggs that are olive in tint, while others produce light brown ones.

As for the nests where these eggs rest, crows build roosts using twigs, which they place high above the ground, usually in the branches of trees or on the roofs of buildings.

How Many Eggs Do Crows Lay?

The number of eggs a crow lays varies depending on its type. For one thing, American crows, known for their widespread presence, typically lay between 3 and 6 eggs.

On the flip side, Hooded crows lay about 3 to 5 eggs. Meanwhile, the intriguing New Caledonian crow lays 2 to 3 eggs on average.

However, it should be noted that one behavior is typical to all of them: these crows share their nests with each other. Hence, don’t be surprised if you see more than six eggs in any given nest.

How Long Does It Take Crow Eggs to Hatch?

Crow hatching its eggs

Crow eggs typically take between 18 and 21 days to hatch. It’s a period of anticipation and care, as the parents remain diligent in ensuring the safety and warmth of their offspring during this phase.

Interestingly enough, crow pairs display remarkable loyalty to each other. Even after their eggs have hatched, the paired male and female often stick together for the long term, fostering bonds that last for months or years.

Can Baby Crows Fly?

When baby crows are born, they are unable to fly and are blind. These weak chicks depend heavily on their parents to feed and protect them. However, as they grow and develop, you can expect that their capabilities will expand.

Soon enough, you might spot them playfully hopping around on the ground as they begin to leave the nest.

When Can Baby Crows Fly?

Baby crows about to fly

Newborn baby crows are not capable of flying. Once they become fledgling crows and juveniles, their vision sharpens, and they gain the strength needed to fly.

That said, while it’s quite an impressive transformation, crows remain with their parents for some time, learning essential skills and getting the nourishment they require.

What Should You Do If You Find a Baby Crow?

When you find a baby crow or two on the ground without their parents in sight, it is tempting to intervene. However, it is often best to leave them alone and watch from a distance.

Remember that in most instances, a young crow left unattended is merely being trained by its mother and father to forage. After all, baby crows are quite adept learners.

Having said that, if the little one is featherless or appears injured, it’s a different story. Such a crow might be in genuine distress and need assistance.

In these situations — rather than attempting a rescue yourself — it’s recommended to call the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network Helpline. They possess the expertise to ensure the baby crow receives the proper care.

How to Take Care of a Baby Crow

Crow held by a hand

Before taking any action, it’s essential to know that keeping a baby crow as a pet is illegal. This bird is meant to be in the wild.

However, if you come across a baby crow on the ground that appears to need care, there are things you can do to help it survive.

First, distinguish a young crow from an adult by its physical features. Helpless baby crows have blue-colored eyes, no feathers, and bills that aren’t as curved as those of adults.

Second, since it is best that baby crows are fed by their parents, asking an avian expert, wildlife rehabilitator, or state wildlife agency for assistance with feeding these birds is recommended.

Finally, make sure to limit human contact with the crow chick as much as possible. You would not want to cause undue stress to either yourself or the vulnerable bird.

As you can see, crows start out as helpless as any other baby animal. They need to be fed and looked after, but they also have all kinds of unique qualities that make them so irresistible. Share your thoughts on baby crows in the comments!

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