Baby Crows Are Much Cuter Than You Think

A baby crow is surprisingly adorable! Learn about these midnight-colored baby birds, including how long they stay in the nest and what they eat.

What Does a Baby Crow Look Like?

baby crowCourtesy Rhea Hayes / Our Canada
Baby crows shortly after leaving the nest

First things first. Some of the “baby crow” images you’ve seen on the Internet are not, in fact, baby crows. If it looks more like a fuzzy young chicken with black feathers, it’s cute, sure. It’s just not a baby crow.

Real baby crows are quite cute, too, but they bear a closer resemblance to their adult relatives. Like other birds, they’re born without feathers and as they mature, they closely resemble their parents. As they enter the juvenile stage, they grow shaggy, all-black plumage. In some species, blue eyes distinguish young crows from their older corvid family members.

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How Long Do Baby Crows Stay in the Nest?

A single young Crow or Corvus - a fledgeling (fledgling) showing his gape and developing feathersZen Rial/Getty Images
An immature crow in Florida

Baby crows remain in the nest anywhere from 20 to 40 days. After that, some stick around in family units for up to two years. In some cases, these juvenile birds help their parents raise their next set of young when the next breeding season arrives.

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What Does a Baby Crow Eat?

While adult crows have a wide-ranging diet that consists of everything from nuts to human garbage, nestlings tend to follow a more predictable pattern. As is typical of young birds, their first few weeks of meals consist of regurgitated material from their parents. Usually, these meals consist of high-protein foods like animal matter. As the youngsters grow, their parents feed them bugs like grasshoppers and spiders, as well as amphibians and reptiles.

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What Should I Do If I Find a Baby Crow?

As with baby pigeons, it’s quite a feat to spot a baby crow. Crows build their nests high up off the ground, so you’re unlikely to witness their initial weeks of life. However, as they’re getting acclimated to the world, you might spot a fledgling crow. The bird might be hopping around on the ground as it figures out how to fly and, well, be a crow.

In most cases, it’s best to leave a fledgling bird to its own devices. These birds often only appear alone—in reality, they have not been abandoned. A parent is usually watching. If the bird is obviously fine except for having a bit of trouble flying, leaving it alone is the best course of action. If the bird is clearly injured—if it has a broken wing or an obvious wound or cannot use its feet to properly stand or grip—then it’s best to call a wildlife rehabilitator that can properly care for the bird.

The sole exception to this rule is imminent, life-threatening danger. If you spot a fledgling crow in a dangerous place where the bird’s life is in jeopardy, such as a busy road, you may quickly guide the bird to safety. But after that, leave it be!

Next, check out cute crow gifts for the corvid lover.

Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate editor for Birds & Blooms Digital. Throughout her years with the publication, she has written multiple articles for print as well as digital, all covering birding and gardening. In her role as associate editor, she is responsible for creating and editing articles on the subject of birding and gardening, as well as putting together Birds & Bloom's daily digital newsletter. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a master's degree in magazine journalism and undergraduate degrees in journalism and English, she has more than eight years of experience in the magazine, newspaper, and book industries.