Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The First Returning Nesters of the Year

Fish crows are not exciting birds to see but they are the first species to return to their local breeding grounds here from a winter absence. They are almost identical to the year-round American crows but their voice is noticeably different. I was roused last Saturday morning February 27 by at least three fish crows constantly complaining about something in the back yard. One day they are nowhere to be found, but one day in late February each year they materialize from nothing. They will be with us until sometime in October when they will go missing again for a few months.

Recognize fish crows from American crows by their short nasal "car car", usually given as a double note. The more familiar american crow gives a more raucous "caw caw caw".  You are also more likely to hear fish crows around area shopping centers and fast food restaurants. They will often perch on lamp posts and call constantly.

Fish Crows by Jeff Lewis