Crows: Symbol of Bad Luck? Or Intelligent Birds?

by Dani Williams, age 13

Crows are common black birds well known for their intelligence. They are found all over the world. Some crows are solitary while others stay in groups. A group of crows is called a murder. When a crow dies, the murder will surround the deceased one. This behavior can be interpreted as a way of mourning their dead and also to find out what killed them.

There are nearly 40 species of crows in many different sizes. An American crow measures around 17.5 inches (45 cm). A fish crow is 19 inches (48 cm). American crows and ravens are different in multiple ways. Ravens are bigger, their voices are hoarser, and they have heavier bills than American crows according to the University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web (ADW). The common raven is much larger and is 27 inches (69 cm). They eat small animals such as mammals, amphibians, mollusks, worms, and other types of birds. Crows sometimes have been found eating in garbage cans according to ADW. [Read More]

The Big-Eared Foxes of Africa

by Stephanie Perez, age 11

There are 21 types of foxes around the world. A particularly interesting one is the fennec fox.

Fennec foxes live across desert areas in North and Middle East Africa. They can be found in deserts like the Sahara and the Arabian. These foxes have a distinct diet. They feed on insects, small rodents, birds and their eggs, and plants. [Read More]

The Elusive Massasgua Rattlesnake

by Stephanie Perez, age 11

One of the world's rarest rattlesnakes, the Massasagua rattlesnake, was spotted in Wisconsin recently. The snake, one of two species of rattlesnake that can be found in Wisconsin, was discovered by a Jackson County Forestry and Parks employee. This has been the fifth sighting in the past three years. Before that, the snake was missing for over 30 years, and for this reason, scientists are very excited about this uncommon encounter in Jackson County.

The Massasagua rattlesnake is often confused with the Fox snake (otherwise people will think snakes are like foxes!) and the Pine snake. Since all three have black or dark brown spots on their body, they can easily be mistaken for each other. One way to identify the snake would be the fact that a Massasagua does not have a pointed tail tip like the other snakes but instead has a blunt rattle segment at the end of its tail. It is also quite smaller than the other snakes, since the maximum length of the Massasagua is three feet. [Read More]

Poisonous Black Widow Spiders are Fierce Predators

by Desteny Alvarez, age 12

The highly-poisonous black widow spider received its name from its black color and because female black widows eat the males after mating.

Female black widow spiders are shiny and black with two blood-colored triangles that make hourglasses on their abdomens. Male black widow spiders are black or gray with only two small red spots on their abdomens. Both males and females measure about one and a half inches in length - small enough to blend into their surroundings easily. [Read More]

More Recent Animal Watch Articles

Snakes can live in almost any environment, but have you ever wondered how snakes live in the desert? [read more...]
Crows are common black birds well known for their intelligence. They are found all over the world. Some crows are solitary while others stay in groups. A group of crows is called a murder. When a crow dies, the murder will surround the deceased one. This behavior can be interpreted as a way of mourning their dead and also to find out what killed them. [read more...]
There are 21 types of foxes around the world. A particularly interesting one is the fennec fox. [read more...]
One of the world's rarest rattlesnakes, the Massasagua rattlesnake, was spotted in Wisconsin this past week. The snake, one of two species of rattlesnake that can be found in Wisconsin, was discovered by a Jackson County Forestry and Parks employee. This has been the fifth sighting in the past three years. Before that, the snake was missing for over 30 years, and for this reason, scientists are very excited about this uncommon encounter in Jackson County. [read more...]
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The highly-poisonous black widow spider received its name from its black color and because female black widows eat the males after mating. [read more...]
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