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Where did all these large black crows come from?

Original post made by PA Mom on Dec 22, 2010

Has anyone else noticed the large amount of black crows in the Mid-Town / El Carmelo area? Some of these birds are enormous! I've lived here for almost 20 years and have never seen this many large birds. Anyone have an explanation or hypothesis?

Comments (14)

Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 22, 2010 at 11:16 am

PA Mom,

I agree with you however this topic has been posted multiple time before:

Web Link

Web Link

Hope this helps, search this site for "crows".


Posted by Jeremy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The crows are a real problem in the urban areas. They are very predatory to other birds, because they attack their nests and eat their young. They are very aggressive.

I think I have a solution: Do a student exchange with schools from rural areas in this state. The rural students can come into this school district with their 4-10 shotguns or pellet guns or even high pressure BB guns, and kill the crows. The Palo Alto students can learn how to do manual labor out on the farms. The rural students can gain environmental credits and the Palo Alto students can gain some self respect, through hard labor.

A real win-win.


Posted by Just too many everywhere, a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Why don't the squirrels eat the crows eggs? I had crows nesting in a cedar tree in my front yard, the squirrels ran up and down the tree but to my knowledge they stayed away from the crows nest and never ate the eggs.

What is the point of having so many predatory squirrels if they don't do their job?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2010 at 2:12 am

These things are bigger than chickens ... could they be harvested and sold ... maybe as pet food or something? I find these crows really irritating. They have only been around for the last 10-15 years ... I never saw these things before. They are like the seagulls at the dump.


Posted by bp, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm

"The Birds" ... moving south from Bodega Bay ...

Our local parrots are gone - replaced by these unsanitary and annoying birds. Anybody who has parked along our beautiful tree lined roads that are frequented by these birds need only take one look at the sidewalks and the cars - covered with deifacation within minutes of the crows arrival.

The city should do something about these gastly animals.


Posted by just thinkin', a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Are you sure they are crows and not ravens?


Posted by 'Therese, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

East Bay Area, Hayward Hills, right next to Garin Regional Park.

When I moved here around 30 years ago up until the last few years we never had these ugly, messy noisy Black Crows, instead there were beautiful quail, families of them, yellow canary, lovely song birds ,now on some mornings you will hear the ghastly honking cries of the black crows.......something has changed in the environment.

Could it be the ignorant neighbors who insist on feeding the wild turkey and the increase of neighborhood parks and the food garbage it brings?


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 10, 2014 at 6:06 am

There was a large increase in the crow population around 1997 during El Nino, I was a kid at the time and was fascinating by the arrival of these amazing, brilliant and beautiful birds, I paid very close attention to birds at the time and where previous to the storm they were fairly rare, during and after it however they seemed ever present by my house near Hoover park. I will say their numbers have increased steadily and rapidly in the last 5-7 years.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 10, 2014 at 8:17 am

Duveneck/St. Francis has both too many squirrels and too many loud black crows. This has been true for years.


Posted by Bad luck, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 8:57 am

They are here in OPA, too. My Brit friends say they are an omen of bad luck and evil. My South Asian friends say they are ghosts, and signs of bad vibrations and evil karma. My Vietnamese friends say they are signs of imminent death nearby.

I suspect they are actually ravens...they are too. IG for crows, but they are a corvid, like jays, crows, magpies, mockingbirds,,etc, and highly intelligent.


Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

I thought the Brits liked the ravens; something about the empire collapsing if the ravens died off. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Realistically - warmer winters are changing lots of wildlife migration patterns and the Pacific Coast is one of the world's most active bird migration paths.


Posted by Brit, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

These are not what I would call ravens. To be accurate, there are ravens at the Tower of London and they are well cared for there. The legend is that if the ravens leave the Tower, the Monarchy will collapse and Britain will be overpowered.

Crows are supposed to be a harbinger of death or evil.

Wiki article about the Ravens at the Tower of London Web Link


Posted by Well, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

"Where did all these large black crows come from?"

Well if a boy black crow loves a girl black crow very very much...


Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

I have lived here 55 years and have never seen these packs of crows around here. We have them in Old Palo Alto too. I recently saw two of them bully a hawk that was in low flight over our yard. They viciously attacked the hawk and feathers were flying everywhere. The crows are very territorial.

Another incident occurred on our street a few weeks ago.
I saw (and heard) a crow open up the cover of a recycling bin multiple times. He made at least three attempts, where the lid came crashing down, each time making a loud bang.

These birds are bold, strong, and brave.
I don't know why they have chosen our area to congregate, but I do feel like they bully and terrorize the other birds around them.


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