Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fish Crow

Fish Crows used to only be found in tidewater areas of the southeastern United States. They have adapted to scavenging human trash and were common around Sanibel Island, Florida. I have posted previously that these small crows are expanding northward, even as far as St. Louis and southern Ontario.

I suspect they will one day become common in Minnesota—the trick will be documenting their occurrence. Small, female American Crows are almost identical to Fish Crows. Young American Crows are smaller than adults. The only reliable difference between these two crows are their calls, and even these sounds can be confusing. “The Fish Crow sounds like an American Crow with a bad cold” writes McGowan (2001). The trouble is that so do begging young American Crows—subordinate adults give similar nasal begging calls when young are not around. Theoretically American Crows never give a double-noted “Uh-uh” call, which ends abruptly with no “higher-pitched gobbling notes” at the end. If you hear such calls, try to record them on your cell phone (assuming you have one handy).

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