An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

American Crow Bills Used As Tools

1-13-16  American crow tracks 147American crows obtain most of their food on the ground as they walk along in search of seeds, insects, frogs, snakes, bird nests and small mammals. Their hunting techniques are varied and most involve the use of their bill. In search of invertebrates, crows will probe the soil with their bill, flick aside leaves, dig in the soil and even lift cow paddies. They fish for tadpoles and dig nearly an inch deep with their bill for clams. In winter, their foraging continues and as these tracks indicate, when the snow is only a few inches deep they will walk around and around in a given area, probing tufts of grass for hibernating insects, mice, voles, or any other form of life these opportunists find.

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3 responses

  1. I’ve been noticing lots of crows lately. A family has been foraging in the backyard and around the feeder. We generally only see them down by the river. Winter is challenging for all species.

    January 13, 2016 at 9:15 pm

  2. joan waltermire

    A few years ago a colleague at the Montshire Museum watched a crow as it selectively pulled up tufts of dead grass and ate the guilty grub below. The crow ignored healthy tufts. Smart birds.

    January 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm

  3. What a fascinating observation. They are so smart!

    January 15, 2016 at 5:41 pm

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