Tuesday, December 17, 2019

American Crow

I have written before that hybrid American x Northwestern crows abound in western Washington. Apparently a study recently concluded that no pure American or Northwestern crows exist in the Puget Sound region—all carry the genes of both parental species. So what does that make this bird that Erika and I photographed a few feet from Puget Sound in Olympia on 13 December 2019? eBird, the app I use to keep track of my birding, allows you to enter American Crow, Northwestern Crow, or American/Northwester Crow. The app, however, makes the Northwestern Crow difficult to enter, considering it to be a rare species. Frustratingly, eBird does not give you credit for American/Northwester Crow, counting neither Northwestern or American Crow. Certainly seeing this bird should count towards your grand total of birds seen for the day. Because they all harbor variations of the same genes, I am inclined to enter all as American Crows. Further north, in British Columbia and Alaska, pure Northwestern Crows may exist. But in western Washington, American Crows have swamped out Northwestern Crows.

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