American Crow
(Corvus brachyrhynchos)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The American Crow is a widespread, abundant and conspicuous inhabitant of Canada east of the British Columbia interior. The Breeding Bird Survey monitors the species well and results indicate that current populations are similar to those of about 1970. This species is found in a wide variety of habitats and is adaptable to human-induced changes in habitat.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeHighAt an Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late March and early May and ends between early July and late July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

With a long-term stable population, there is little cause for conservation concern for this species. Clearing and fragmenting of forests, fire suppression and planting of trees in urban areas have benefited the American Crow, while reforestation of abandoned farmland may have had a minor negative effect in some areas (Verbeek and Caffrey 2002). Overwinter survival may be enhanced by the availability of food in urban areas and landfills (Verbeek and Caffrey 2002). Although the arrival of West Nile Virus in 1999 had significant negative effects on crow populations in many parts of North America (LaDeau et al. 2007), populations in Canada today appear to have either recovered or were not widely affected.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type