Crows, Jays (Family Corvidae)
Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of oscine passerine birds that contains
the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs and
nutcrackers. The common English name used is corvids or the Crow
Family and there are over 120 species. The Genus Corvus, including the
crows and ravens, makes up over a third of the entire family.
Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the
polar ice caps.
They are considered the most intelligent of the birds having demonstrated
self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool making ability
(crows, rooks)—skills until recently regarded as solely the province of
humans and a few other higher mammals. They are medium to large in
Corvids are large to very large passerines with a robust build, strong legs.
The smallest corvid is the dwarf jay (Aphelocoma nana), at 40 g (1.4 oz)
and 21.5 cm (8.5 inches). The largest corvids are the common raven
(Corvus corax) and the thick-billed raven (Corvus crassirostris), both
of which regularly exceed 1400 grams (3 lbs) and 65 cm (26 inches).
Crooked Run Valley