To know the crow: Insights and stories from over a quarter century of crow study

April 01, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Researcher, author and educator Kevin McGowan will recount the results of his 30-year study of more than 2,500 individual crows — including their home and family life, flock life, and crow-human interactions — at 5 p.m. on April 4 in 112 Forest Resources Building on Penn State's University Park campus.

The American crow is a widespread and familiar bird across North America, but few people know much about its complicated and fascinating life. The crow displays more human-like traits than perhaps any other animal: intelligence, adaptability, sociability and caring, with strong family values and lifelong bonds.

McGowan will not only describe the crow's behavior and biology but highlight a few of the life histories of individual crows he has studied. Topics will include the birds' winter roosts and urban life. 

McGowan, who received his doctorate in biology from the University of South Florida, is currently the project manager for distance learning in bird biology at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He is the author and instructor for several courses and webinars offered through the lab's Bird Academy and a co-creator of the lab's "All About Birds" website. He is also the co-editor and primary author of The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by The Arboretum at Penn State Avian Education Program and the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

  • Kevin McGowan with a crow

    Kevin McGowan bands a crow.

    IMAGE: provided

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 02, 2018