There are 130 species within the Corvidae family throughout the world. Certain species of large black crows share many similarities. Large-billed Crows and Carrion Crows, which are found year-round in Japan (Common Ravens and Rooks are winter birds), are commonly used as benchmarks for measuring the size of larger birds. Large-billed Crows are slightly larger than Carrion Crows and have a larger, thicker bill and a protruding forehead.
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While most crows have a husky voice, the Large-billed Crow is an exception, emitting in a clear voice a call that sounds like “cah”or “ah.”
Although Large-billed Crows are now a fairly common sight in urban areas of Tokyo, Carrion Crows have become somewhat of a rarity. The Large-billed Crow was originally a forest bird but seems to have adapted to life in the “concrete jungle.” With highly developed vocal communication skills, it is adept at imitating the voices of other birds. By comparison, Carrion Crows, which have a husky voice that they use to call “gah,” seem to prefer wide agricultural landscapes or grassy expanses, although they, too, can sometimes be seen in urban areas in the winter.
Many people believe that crows are clever because they store their food and interact with each other. In New Caledonia, crows are capable of making their own tools and may even be cleverer than the common chimpanzee.
If you are scared of crows, you should not approach a nest or young birds during breeding season in the spring and summer as adult crows have been known to attack if startled.
When a young crow leaves its nest, it is the same size as an adult. A juvenile Large-billed Crow has a sweet singing voice and the inside of its mouth is red, which is a common characteristic among all crows.
When in flight, crows have what are called fingered wingtips. Also, they beat their wings in a deep, fluid manner. This characteristic makes them easy to distinguish from raptors, which flap their wings in rapid, shallow strokes.
Generally, chicks leave the nest when they become the same size as their parent. Accordingly, based on size alone, it may be difficult to identify a child from an adult. There are, however, other ways to easily tell the difference. Young crows will have a reddish color inside their mouths. Also, juveniles will flap their wings noisily when asking a parent for food.