Crows

CorvusThere are two species of crows here and along the East Coast: the American and Fish. It is hard to tell them apart by sight, but their voices are distinctive. Since this one wasn’t vocalizing, I can’t be sure which one it was. Fish Crows (Corvus ossifragus), as their name suggests, are usually associated with bodies of water. CorvusThis bird was photographed at Floyd Bennett Field, part of the Jamaica Bay NRA, where I have heard both species. Not sure what’s being eaten here; has a look of carrion. Corvus brachyrhynchosCloser to home, I often see or more usually hear American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) over my neighborhood. Corvus brachyrhynchosOn Saturday, I watched three gathering nest material around Joralemon St. Two of the birds were picking up sticks from some kind of wintery vine that had crawled up the side of a house and reached over the top. The third bird was… what, acting as lookout, scout? Crows often maintain multi-generational family units, with a yearling or two sticking around the help the parents with raising a new generation. It is rare to see a lone Crow — “one is for sorrow” according to the old rhyme, but pshaw to that!; look closer, that lone black bird could be a Raven. Corvus brachyrhynchosThe Crows returned to this spot several times over a few minutes, suggesting the nest location was close. But the blocks of Brooklyn present a fortress wall to those who would explore the inner wildernesses of collective backyards. IMG_0955However, there was an unusual break in the street front around the corner, and we saw the crows flying into the conifer here in the background. One of the spring-blooming Witchhazels (Hamamelis) is flaring yellow.

3 Responses to “Crows”


  1. 1 DEvans March 23, 2015 at 11:31 am

    The more crows, the merrier, as far as I’m concerned.They suffered enough of a blow from the West Nile virus. Any information about there current local numbers compared to pre-West Nile (when was that? 2002?)

    • 2 mthew March 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      I can only speak anecdotally: West Nile did some serious damage to local Crow populations; they virtually disappeared from Brooklyn.

  2. 3 DEvans March 23, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Pardon me! THEIR current local numbers.


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