Crows are intelligent birds who serve an important role in our eco-system.
Crows mate for life and form life-long relationships with friends, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents. The groups you see on your lawn or in your trees are not random groupings -- they're FAMILIES. Crows are more intelligent than dogs, pigs, and even more intelligent than non-human primates -- crows can MAKE their own tools, rather than simply using existing items AS tools. While a chimpanzee might poke a stick into tree stump to get some bugs to eat, the crow will take an existing item and bend and shape it to work better, to accommodate the situation (see image below where a crow formed a hook from a straight piece of wire). They can think.
A little twist was all it took to create the perfect tool for extracting a tasty mealworm. Click the photo to watch the video of this crow making and using the tool.
Want to see crows using cars to crack nuts and then waiting for a pedestrian crossing signal to go out into the road and retrieve the food? Click here.
How do they help us?
Crows eat bugs, by the hundreds of thousands. They eat carrion (road kill and other dead animal bodies), which prevents disease and eliminates decaying carcasses. They do NOT spread disease or give anyone West Nile Virus -- instead, they get it and die, closing the loop on the disease and preventing humans getting it. Plus, when the migratory crows arrive here, the mosquito season is over (it's too cold for mosquitos), so the risk of West Nile - even to the crows - is virtually non-existent. THE BOTTOM LINE: There is NO health hazard associated with crows.
Crows are helpful to humans, and while their excrement creates a mess when they roost in large numbers in parking lots, shopping malls, schoolyards, and so forth, their droppings are NOT a health hazard -- they're simply messy.
If you have droppings in your lot, on your car, or anywhere on your property, simply use a hose to wash the droppings away. The droppings are not dangerous, and should you touch the droppings, simple hand-washing is all that's required. You're actually in more danger from bacteria and germs at the grocery store -- market baskets, floors, door handles, etc... are some of the most bacteria-filled spots you'll encounter. Crows do not put you at risk for disease.