Corvid Research

Corvid…. What is that? A corvid is a crow, raven, magpie, nutcracker or jay.

We at CARRI have been researching corvids  since 1999. We capture the birds using a large crow trap that is on the grounds of the institute.  To lure the birds we use large amounts of beef fat or suet.  Each year, we try to capture and band every Black-billed Magpie in the neighborhood. In doing that we will gain the greatest amount of data.

Through our research,we have found that Black-billed Magpies have a territory of about a square mile and they use physical boundaries such as mountain ridges and large rivers as territories dividers.

The corvids we work with include, the Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Blue Jay, Steller’s Jay and Clark’s Nutcracker.


Through our  American Crow research we have found that some of the American Crows that winter in and around Estes Park, Colorado; nest in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.  Furthermore, our oldest American Crow lived 10 years.   We also band more American Crows than anyone in Western North America. Below are some of our band recoveries.

American Crow # 975-48781 was banded at the institute on 12/13/2004 and recovered on 8/22/2014 in Alberta, Canada.

American Crow # 975-48972 was banded at the institute on 11/15/2006 and was recovered on 7/23/2007 in Alberta. Canada.

American Crow # 975-48975 was banded at the institute on 11/28/2006 and recovered on 2/2/2014 in Estes Park, Colorado.

American Crow # 975-48952 was banded at the institute on 3/21/2006 and was recovered on 3/9/2011 in Sheridan, Wyoming.

American Crow # 945-54602 was banded at the institute om 11/26/2014 and was recovered on 3/9/2014 in Nederland, Colorado.