Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Do crows ever communicate with one another? Parrots and parakeets are the first birds that come to mind when we think of a talking bird.

Did you know that other types of birds besides parrots and parakeets are capable of speech?

Crows, it turns out, are quite the talkers.

Let me elaborate.

OK, so crows can communicate with one another.

Can you, however, instruct them in the art of speech?

How about we find out?

(Be sure to scroll down for the video of a talking crow! This is pretty cool!)

Can a Crow Be Taught To Speak?

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Without a doubt.

Corvids are considered songbirds despite their lack of vocalization thus far.

Crows, like parrots, are able to pick up new words through repetition.

So, they learn to communicate by repeating what they hear.

If you want to teach a crow to talk, all you need to do is repeat what you say to it over and over again.

However, a great deal of persistence is required to teach a crow to talk.

As an alternative, offering the bird some of its favorite foods as a bribe.

A trained crow may never learn to speak.

It’s possible that crow is just very timid.

Another possibility is that this kind of crow is silent.

It has been observed that this is also true with parrots.

While some birds, like the African Grey Parrot, have developed sophisticated language skills, others, like the love bird, do not.

Even the talking crows may have a limited vocal repertoire.


True, birds can’t talk because they don’t have lips or teeth.

Consonants that require two lips to form, like P and B, are notoriously challenging to produce.

Crows, like other songbirds, have a Syrinx, a fluid-filled hollow below their windpipes.

They do this by changing the size and form of their trachea, which in turn alters the rate at which air moves through it, allowing them to make a variety of sounds.

Can Crows Talk Better Than Parrots?

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In a nutshell, no.

Crows, according to the majority of behavioural ornithologists, aren’t as vocal as parrots, but that’s mostly because they’re not exposed to as many human voices.

How so?

Birds communicate with one another in captivity by mimicking human speech.

But corvids aren’t commonly kept as pets in people’s homes.

Since most parrots spend their lives in cages and enjoy the company of humans.

Because of this, talking parrots are common but talking crows are uncommon.

However, unlike most parrots, a crow in captivity may never develop into an effective speaker.


To put it another way, the average bird brain is about the size of a nut.

Therefore, birds make the most efficient use of available space for neurons.

Now, in the brains of all birds, there is a special area referred to as the song system that is responsible for creating songs.

This musical structure has an outside and a center.

Only parrots, though, have this unique protective covering.

This covering contributes to one’s capacity to remember details and imitate sounds accurately.

But crows don’t have that protective layer.

Therefore, a crow is not as likely to acquire the ability to speak fluently as a parrot, even if it is exposed to the same conditions in captivity.

At this point, you might be wondering:

Can a Crow Say Hello?

Yes, most definitely.

As a matter of fact, a well-trained crow can memorize up to 100 words and roughly 50 whole sentences.

Reportedly, they can reach the number 9.

Not all crows have the ability to communicate.

Crows, on the other hand, appear to be more rational than parrots, especially when it comes to matters of food.

It has been said that Japanese crows may throw hard nuts at busy roadways in the hopes that passing cars will smash them open.

In fact, crows are capable of using tools like hooked straws.

Lab experiments using corvids using bent straws to select their preferred meal from a maze confirmed this behavior.

Straws have been observed being used by crows in the wild to extract insects from a hollow tree.

If you feed a crow every time it talks, it will learn to say “Hello” and “Good-bye.”

How about crows? Can they communicate with us?

We regularly observe them moving about in the air and on the ground.

I encounter them frequently, yet they never initiate conversation.

We should test to see if this is the case.

Do Crows Talk To Humans?

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They do, but usually only if they stand to earn something from it.

If you reward a crow every time it successfully imitates your words, he will begin doing so more frequently.

However, this could imply that The Crow is uttering nonsense.

In his mind, there must be some connection between talking about it and getting free meals, so he does.

For example, if a crow caws at you and you respond in kind.

Afterwards, you feed him; this is merely a “ritual” designed to ensure future food supplies.

So, in all candor, that wasn’t a conversation at all!

As an added bonus, crows have a highly intricate family structure.

That’s why they don’t have much of a reason to talk to us unless we turn out to be a good food source.

Since corvids are rarely adopted as pets.

A crow communicating to a human is only observed in some zoo or lab.

But theoretically, crows can mimic all kinds of human languages.

Can Crows Talk To Each Other?

They sure do!

According to Crow Ornithologist – Loma Pendergraft, crows converse to each other all the time.

He suggests that crow-to-crow communication is the most complex and intricate system.

You see, crows are the social birds that live as families within the flocks.

These flocks not only forage together but also do communal roosting.

Therefore, every night hundreds of thousands of crows congregate in one place to sleep.

Occasionally, these perches are moved to make room for new roosters.

Even crows rotate shifts as night watchkeepers.

Whenever they sense danger, these sentinels will sound the alarm for the rest of the flock.

Ravens consistently follow the same flight patterns.

They do make some pit stops, most likely to provide intel.

It’s interesting to see the older children helping out with the nesting.

Furthermore, only corvids have funerals for their dead.

To live together in such a sophisticated society, people need to be able to exchange information and ideas.

However, if you pay attention, you’ll see that crows constantly caw.

And thus, it’s natural for you to wonder.

How is a ‘caw’ so meaningful? 

We have no idea how crows communicate at the moment.

However, crow expert Kevin McGowan argues that the same caw might have numerous meanings depending on its pattern, pitch, or frequency.

A caw may indicate the presence of a predator, for instance.

Caw can mean “Beware, I saw a predator around” in a simple sequence.

When a bird makes a high-pitched cry, it may be a warning that a predator is nearby.

So, crows routinely exchange calls with:

  1. Ring the alarm about a potential danger.
  2. Rally the troops and take on a hawk or owl.
  3. Find a mate. As part of the courtship process, a crow might even sing.
  4. Recognize and differentiate between male and female, friend and family, and enemy.
  5. Behaving in a territorial manner. Like jays, crows may use a mental “aural map” to get about. As a result, the same crow can travel for a considerable distance before landing on the same shrub.
  6. Let them know that food is available.
  7. Pronounce the crow dead.

Beyond that, crows have a remarkable ability: they can recognize human faces.

Experts on wildlife donned masks and drove across Washington State with a taxidermied crow in 2015 for a published research.

A corvid uproar ensued as a result.

Later on, the crows scolded everyone in masks, even though they weren’t near any dead crows and weren’t even in the same region.

What this demonstrates is the sophistication and speed of crow language.

Wrapping Up – Do Crows Talk?

To learn, crows use their voices.

As a result, kids can acquire a language just by being exposed to various sounds.

Of course, their verbal abilities are severely restricted when compared to those of parrots.

However, crows kept as pets typically learn to say “Hello” when introduced to new people.

In most cases, the one who initiates conversation is the one who receives the treats.

Crows, like humans, can communicate verbally, however they might not understand each other.

One of the most complicated animal communication systems is that between crows.

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