Hey guys welcome back! Today, a bird that a lot of people, especially those that aren’t avid birders, might not even know exists; the fish crow! The fish crow is common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Massachusetts to Louisiana. Though typically found close to the shore, they have been spreading further inland, especially along major rivers such as the Mississippi. You may have even seen one before and not known it! They look almost identical to the American crow, but the fish crow has slightly shorter wings and is ever so slightly smaller, however the odds of actually being able to tell this in person is essentially zero. The only way you can tell for sure is by their sound. Fish crows kind of sound like an American crow if it had a cold. If you’re in their range, it’s a good idea to get familiar with their sound. Or at least don’t discount it as a “funny sounding” American crow.
Fish crows are actually fairly common in New York City, which makes sense given its location on the Atlantic coast. Even in Central Park, it wasn’t uncommon to see them. I remember one time, there was a flock of about ten fish crows hanging out near where the park does their composting. It was cool since up to that point, I had only ever seen one or two at a time.
Fish crows get their name because they live near water. Although they will eat fish, they prefer to rob the nests of other birds, including shorebirds. They also harass other species like osprey, gulls, and other crows, stealing their food in the process. Like other members of the corvid family, fish crows are highly intelligent, and have learned to hide food in case other crows are watching them. So next time you see a crow, and you’re on the east coast, don’t be so quick to assume it’s an American crow. You may just have seen it’s nearly identical twin, the fish crow! next up, we’ll take a look at yet another streaked sparrow, the Savannah sparrow! See you all then!