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Scientific Name of Crow

Last Updated : 08 Aug, 2023
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Scientific Name of Crow: Corvus is the scientific name of the Crow. Crows are captivating birds known for their intelligent behavior, distinct calls, and striking black plumage. Beyond their visual and behavioral traits, understanding the scientific name and taxonomic classification of these remarkable creatures adds another layer of fascination. This article aims to shed light on the scientific name of crows and delve into the diversity of species within this avian group.

What is the Scientific Name of the Crow?

The scientific name of crows is Corvus.

Crow belongs to the family Corvidae. Corvidae is a diverse family of birds encompassing several species, including crows, ravens, magpies, and jays. This family is part of the order Passeriformes, commonly known as the perching birds or songbirds. Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and includes over half of all bird species worldwide.

Crow Species and Geographical Distribution

Within the genus Corvus, there are numerous recognized species of crows, each with its own unique characteristics and geographical distribution. Let’s explore some of the most prominent crow species:

  • American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos): The American crow is native to North America and is known for its glossy black plumage and distinctive cawing calls. They are highly adaptable and can be found in various habitats, including forests, urban areas, and agricultural lands. American crows are opportunistic feeders, consuming a wide range of food, including fruits, seeds, insects, and carrion.
  • Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix): The hooded crow is prevalent in Europe and parts of Asia. It exhibits a gray body with a black head and is often associated with agricultural fields. Hooded crows are adaptable and can thrive in diverse environments. They have a varied diet that includes insects, small mammals, eggs, and carrion.
  • Carrion Crow (Corvus corone): The carrion crow, closely related to the hooded crow, is primarily found in western Europe. They are known for their scavenging behavior and vocalizations. Carrion crows play an essential ecological role in the decomposition of carrion, aiding in the recycling of nutrients.
  • Common Raven (Corvus corax): The common raven is one of the largest species in the Corvidae family. With its deep black plumage and impressive intelligence, it has captivated human fascination throughout history and mythology. Common ravens have a wide distribution across the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America. They are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, ranging from mountains and forests to urban areas. Common ravens are known for their problem-solving abilities, complex vocalizations, and social behavior.

These are just a few examples of crow species within the Corvus genus. Other notable species include the Northwestern crow (Corvus caurinus) found in the Pacific Northwest of North America, the Australian raven (Corvus coronoides) native to Australia, and the jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) found in parts of Asia. Each species within the Corvus genus exhibits its own distinct characteristics, behavior, and habitat preferences.

Crow Taxonomy

The Scientific Name of Crow is based on the following taxonomy tree:











Subfamily Corvinae
Genus Corvus

Characteristics of Crow

Crows possess several distinctive characteristics that help distinguish them from other birds. Here are some notable features and traits of crows:

  • Appearance: Crows are primarily known for their glossy black feathers, which give them a sleek appearance. Their feathers are dense and often appear iridescent in sunlight.
  • Size: Crows are medium-sized birds, with a length ranging from 17 to 21 inches (43 to 53 centimeters). They have stout body and a relatively large head.
  • Intelligence: Crows are highly intelligent birds. They have been observed displaying problem-solving skills, tool usage, and the ability to learn and remember complex tasks. They can also recognize individual humans and remember their faces.
  • Adaptability: Crows are highly adaptable birds and can thrive in various environments, from urban areas to forests and farmlands.
  • Social Behavior: Crows are social creatures and often form large flocks called murders. They engage in cooperative activities, such as mobbing predators to protect their group members.
  • Memory: Crows have excellent long-term memory and can remember specific locations where they have hidden food caches. They can recall these locations months later and retrieve the stored food.
  • Feeding Habits: Crows are omnivorous and have a diverse diet. They feed on insects, small mammals, seeds, fruits, nuts, carrion, and garbage. They are opportunistic foragers and can adapt their feeding habits based on food availability.
  • Lifespan: In the wild, they can live up to 7 to 8 years on average, and some individuals have been known to survive for more than 20 years.

Cultural Significance and Symbolism

Crows hold significant cultural and symbolic meanings in various societies and cultures around the world. Their intelligence, adaptability, and complex vocalizations have fascinated humans for centuries. In some Native American tribes, crows were revered as tricksters, associated with transformation, adaptability, and wisdom. In Norse mythology, two ravens named Huginn and Muninn symbolized thought and memory and were considered messengers of the god Odin.

Moreover, crows have gained recognition for their problem-solving abilities and cognitive prowess. Studies have shown that crows are capable of using tools, recognizing human faces, and engaging in complex social behaviors. Their adaptability to various environments and their ability to exploit available resources have contributed to their status as intriguing creatures in folklore, literature, and scientific research.

Conservation and Threats

Like many bird species, crows face various threats to their populations. Habitat loss, caused by deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion, impacts their natural habitats and food sources. Climate change also poses challenges, altering ecosystems and affecting prey availability. Pollution, including chemical pollutants and plastics, can harm crows and their habitats.

In some cases, crows may face persecution due to their scavenging behavior, which can bring them into conflict with humans. However, it is essential to recognize the ecological roles crows play. Their scavenging helps maintain the cleanliness of their environments, and they contribute to nutrient recycling by consuming carrion.

Conservation efforts focused on protecting their habitats, raising awareness, and studying their behavior are crucial for the long-term survival of crow species. By understanding their ecological roles and promoting coexistence with humans, we can contribute to their conservation and appreciate the value they bring to our natural environment.


The scientific name of crows, Corvus, places them within the diverse family Corvidae, which is part of the larger order Passeriformes. Crows exhibit remarkable species diversity, with various unique characteristics and geographical distributions. Their cultural significance, symbolic associations, and cognitive abilities have captivated human fascination throughout history.

While crows face conservation challenges due to habitat loss, climate change, and human conflicts, understanding their ecological roles and promoting their protection is vital for their continued existence. By appreciating the scientific name and taxonomic identity of crows, we deepen our understanding and appreciation of these remarkable birds and contribute to their conservation efforts.

FAQs on the Scientific Name of Crow

Q: What is the scientific name for crows?


The scientific name for crows is “Corvus.”

Q: Is “Corvus” the only scientific name for crows?


Yes, “Corvus” is the genus name for crows. All species of crows belong to this genus. However, within the genus Corvus, there are many different species, each with its specific scientific name that includes the genus name “Corvus” followed by a species identifier.

Q: Are crows and ravens the same thing?


No, crows and ravens are not the same, but they are closely related. Both crows and ravens belong to the same genus, Corvus, and they share many physical and behavioral similarities. However, they are different species and have some distinguishing features. Ravens are generally larger, have more massive bills, and have a wedge-shaped tail compared to crows.

Q: Give some examples of crow species and their scientific names?


Few examples of crow species and their scientific names are:

  • American Crow: Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Hooded Crow: Corvus cornix
  • Carrion Crow: Corvus corone
  • House Crow: Corvus splendens
  • Jungle Crow: Corvus macrorhynchos

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