(noun) The scientific bird family classification that includes all corvids, such as jays, crows, magpies, ravens and jackdaws. There are approximately 120-125 species in the Corvidae family depending on individual classifications, and these birds are found throughout much of the world in a wide range of habitats, but are absent from the harshest polar regions as well as the southern portions of Chile and Argentina in South America.
There is great variation among Corvidae birds, particularly in plumage – some species are simply colored or just one color, typically black, while others are far more colorful and brightly marked – shades of blue and purple are especially prominent but are not found on all species. Despite this range in appearance, however, these passerines do share many characteristics, such as:
- Strong, stout bills with rictal bristles at the base for most species
- Genders similar in size and appearance
- Generally non-migratory and stay in same range year-round
- High intelligence, including behaviors such as caching food, using tools, playing and cooperating as a group
Photo – Eurasian Jay © Luc Viatour
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