At a Glance
This small crow has a very limited range in the dry country of northeastern Mexico. In the United States it has occurred mostly as a winter visitor to southernmost Texas, mainly around the landfill at Brownsville, where it scavenges for food along with Chihuahuan Ravens, gulls, and many other birds. The Mexican Crow has a surprisingly low-pitched voice for its small size. A close relative in western Mexico, the Sinaloa Crow, is now considered a separate species because its high, shrill calls are very different.
All bird guide text and rangemaps adapted from Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman© 1996, used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Crows, Magpies, Jays, Perching Birds
Fields, Meadows, and Grasslands, Landfills and Dumps, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
Range & Identification
Migration & Range Maps
Mostly a permanent resident; disperses somewhat in winter, with small flocks formerly moving north into Texas. Very few have occurred in recent years.
15" (38 cm). Small for a crow, glossy blue-black. Chihuahuan Raven (common in south Texas) is much larger, with wedge-shaped tail. Great-tailed Grackle has pale eyes, usually longer tail.
About the size of a Crow, About the size of a Mallard or Herring Gull
Broad, Fingered, Long
Songs and Calls
A soft croaking gar-lic, very different from familiar caw, caw of American Crow.
Falling, Flat, Simple
Semi-open country. In Texas, seen mostly in and near the Brownsville garbage dump. In Mexico, found in dry brushland, arid scrub, farms, ranches, towns. Avoids unbroken forest, mountains, and extreme desert situations, and not often found on seashore.
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4. Pale blue, streaked with pale olive-buff. Incubation is apparently by female only, 17-18 days.
Both parents bring food for nestlings. Development of young in the wild not well known; may leave the nest roughly 30-35 days after hatching.
Forages mostly by walking on ground; also probably does some foraging in trees. Except when nesting, usually forages in flocks.
Probably omnivorous. Diet not known in detail, but probably like other crows in eating a wide variety of items. Scavenges for refuse, and known to eat carrion, insects, seeds; probably also birds' eggs, berries, nuts, various other things.
Has only been known to nest a few times in Texas. Breeding behavior is not well known. May nest in loose colonies. Courtship may involve two birds perching close together, touching bills and preening each other's feathers; one bird (male?) may feed the other. Nest site is usually in tree; the first nests found in Texas were built in the open on a framework of steel beams. Both sexes help build nest, a substantial platform or shallow basket of sticks and plant fibers, lined with softer materials.
Despite its adaptability, might be vulnerable because of ongoing destruction of habitat in its very limited native range.