What Is A Group Of Crows Called? Everything You Need To Know

Crows sometimes gather in large groups. Surprisingly, a group of grows is called a murder. I’ll share what you want to know about groups of crows in this article.

Key Facts:

  • A group of crows is usually called a ‘murder.’
  • Groups of crows are largest in the winter.

What is a Group of Crows Called?

A group of crows is commonly referred to as a “murder.”

But you can call a group of crows by a few other names. Other options include a brood, a roost, a flock, and a muster.

Why is a Group of Crows Called a Murder?

murder of crows

Okay, I know. I’m surprised too. Here’s why a group of crows is called a murder:

Calling a group of birds a ‘murder’ is pretty dark. While this term may sound eerie, it has historical roots in English folklore and is thought to stem from the birds’ black plumage, which associates them with death and darkness. While the name might evoke a sense of mystery and intrigue, it highlights the fascinating and intelligent nature of these birds.

Crows are highly social creatures, often forming tight-knit communities with complex interactions and hierarchies. They exhibit remarkable intelligence, problem-solving skills, and even demonstrate the ability to use tools. These characteristics have earned them a reputation as one of the most intelligent bird species. Within a murder of crows, you may observe various behaviors, such as cooperative foraging, mobbing potential threats, and engaging in playful activities.

Throughout history and across different cultures, crows have been associated with various symbolic meanings, ranging from omens of bad luck to symbols of wisdom and guidance. Their intriguing group dynamics and clever behaviors have captured the fascination of researchers and nature enthusiasts alike, making them a captivating subject of study and observation.

When Do Crows Gather in Large Groups?

Throughout the spring and summer, most crows live in groups of up to 10 birds. But their preferences for larger groups change based on the season.

Crows are known for their strong social tendencies, and they often gather in large groups during specific times and situations. One common scenario when crows congregate in large numbers is during the evening, just before sunset. At this time, you might witness hundreds or even thousands of crows coming together in what is known as a “communal roost.” These roosts serve as communal sleeping areas where crows rest and socialize after a day of foraging.

During the winter months, crows are more likely to form these communal roosts, as the colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours encourage them to seek safety and warmth in numbers. These roosts can be quite impressive, with a symphony of cawing and flapping wings filling the air as the crows settle down for the night. The sight of a large gathering of crows in the sky can be both awe-inspiring and somewhat eerie, adding to the mystique of these intelligent birds.

Apart from communal roosting, crows may also gather in large groups during periods of abundant food sources. When a plentiful food supply, such as a crop of ripe fruits or a large collection of food scraps, becomes available, crows will congregate to take advantage of the feast. This behavior not only allows them to find sustenance but also reinforces their social bonds within the group.

Groups of Crows: Social Dynamics

Within a murder, crows establish a well-defined hierarchy, with dominant individuals holding higher positions and exerting influence over others. This hierarchy is often based on age, experience, and sometimes physical strength. Younger crows may show submission to older and more experienced ones, and conflicts within the group are relatively common as they establish and maintain their positions.

Communication plays a vital role in the social interactions of crows. They have an extensive repertoire of vocalizations, allowing them to convey a wide range of messages to other group members. These vocalizations help coordinate activities like foraging and warn of potential threats. Additionally, crows engage in elaborate aerial displays, known as “aerial ballets,” where they perform acrobatic maneuvers together, possibly serving as a form of bonding and strengthening social ties.

One of the most remarkable aspects of crows’ social dynamics is their ability to form cooperative alliances. Crows will often come together to mob predators or other birds of prey, displaying a collective defense strategy to protect their community. They also share information about food sources, remembering and relying on the knowledge of experienced individuals to locate and exploit new feeding areas. This cooperative behavior not only enhances their chances of survival but also fosters a sense of unity and collaboration within the murder.

Are Crows Smart?

Crows are incredibly smart birds, renowned for their high level of intelligence and problem-solving abilities. They belong to a group of birds called corvids, which also includes ravens and magpies. According to some, these birds are among the most intelligent species in the avian world. Crows have remarkable cognitive skills, such as the ability to use tools to obtain food, which is a behavior previously thought to be limited to primates. They use sticks, twigs, and even leaves as tools to extract insects or other food from hard-to-reach places.

Furthermore, crows have demonstrated an impressive memory, enabling them to remember locations of food caches or recognize individual human faces. This recognition helps them differentiate between friend and foe. In some cases, they hold grudges against individuals who pose a threat. Their problem-solving skills and adaptability have allowed them to thrive in various environments, including urban settings.

Research on crows’ intelligence continues to reveal new insights into their cognitive abilities. Some studies suggest they can plan for the future, exhibit self-awareness, and even understand cause-and-effect relationships. Their exceptional intelligence has earned them a special place in mythology, folklore, and cultural symbolism across different societies.

Group of Crows: Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about crow groups. I have answers.

What is a group of ravens called?

You can generally call a group of crows a flock.

What is a group of crows called?

A group of crows is called a murder. (But if you call a group of crows a flock, that’s okay too.)

Final Take on a Group of Crows

It’s rather surprising that a group of crows is called a murder. But now that you know, you can surprise others with this fun fact.