ever you are
You should be aware that there are federal laws that prohibit the capture and/or possession of wildlife, including crows. If you find a fledgling or rescue an injured crow, there are many resources available that will help you rehabilitate the animal and return it to the wild. In cases where release is not possible, for example, a debilitating injury that permanently prevents flight (such as with my crow, Sam) you will need to get a special permit in order to keep the crow. I know from my own experience that crows can be wonderful companions. However, our affection for these amazing birds should not override what is in the crow's best interest. Feel free to contact me if you need some help. I will do whatever I can, but also, please do your best to live within the law. Wild is wild. Help them recover and set them free.
If you find a fledgling crow who can't fly very well or who still has blue eyes, you will need to hand feed it many times a day or it will starve. If it won't drink from a bowl of water then you will need to use an eyedropper to keep it well hydrated. Crows wean after about 4 months. Crows are omnivores, that is, they will eat almost anything we will eat, small bits of raw meat, chunks of hard-boiled egg, insects - crickets, grasshoppers, mealy worms, fruit such as grapes, small chunks of watermelon, berries of any kind, sunflower seeds and so on.
The hazard with rescuing young crows is that by feeding them and treating them with kindness and affection, they then see us as part of their flock. They create an attachment with us and lose their natural caution and fear of humans. This makes them very vulnerable in the wild and easy prey to those (expletive deleted) folks that just love to kill crows for fun. Sadly, there are a lot of those guys out there. A word of warning here... Don't allow an attachment to form with a crow who will be released. You only put them at risk.
One last caution... If you live in an area where crow hunters kill for fun (and these guys can each kill hundreds of crows in a single day and they love to boast about it) don't intervene during a hunt. Instead of getting tangled up in confrontation, hot tempers and useless ego arguments about who's right, try to get the laws changed so there are kill limits. What they are doing comes from the same level of unconsciousness that wiped out the passenger pigeon: unrestrained hunting of a single species. Nobody ever thought they could kill enough pigeons to make a dent in the population until it was suddenly too late and they were all gone. There are some states where crows and ravens have been hunted to rarity and now hunting them is prohibited. Between the crow hunters and the West Nile Virus* we could suddenly find crows on the endangered species list, in spite of an apparent population bloom. If you want to slow down the crow killers, use the legal system. That's what makes this country a democracy. (Although nowadays, I swear I could make a reasonable case for someone in camo off in the woods with a silenced thirty-ought-six and a scope, taking out the crow killers one by one. Yeah just a thought, I'm not THAT crazy.)
If I did today what I did with that young idiot back in the early 60's, I'd end up with a lawsuit and time in jail on an assault charge. As it was, I had to pay for his medical bills (4 stitches and a bandaid) and buy him a new shotgun, which was hard to do as a 14 year old kid with only a paper route. On the other hand, I got a wonderful friend for 30 years and it only cost me a stern conversation with the local county sheriff and less than $500 bucks. What a bargain...
Additional avian resources:
Wildlife International Rehab Search page
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center
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