From Birding

Lifebird #24 – Counting Crows

Species  American Crow / Corvus brachyrhynchos
Where Home
When January 2004
Who Joann
Number 24

I’m always surprised by the size of crows when they visit our yard. American Crows don’t actually use our feeders, but they occasionally perch close to one. When they do, it’s as if a Boeing 747 has joined the Piper Cub-like regulars (finches, chickadees, cardinals, small woodpeckers, and others). Even the largest bird to regularly visit our feeders—the closely-related Blue Jay— is dwarfed by the crow.

American CrowNone of us, I suppose, is much enamored by the voice of the American Crow. The loud “Caw, caw, caw” can get old pretty fast. But crows are very intelligent birds, and it doesn’t take much imagination to hear the communication in their calls. When a chickadee sounds its warning call we know that it is communicating, and we hear cardinals keeping in touch with their ping-like back-and-forth “chipping.” But in the crows’ cawing, we can really hear the birds “talking” amongst themselves. We don’t understand the words, but we do recognize speech when we hear it.

My first listing for this species is January of 2004 in our yard. It seems silly to even record my “first” American Crow. When had I not seen a crow? Nevertheless, that’s the game, and since I spent a year or more recording only the sightings of birds in my yard, here it is.

The photo on this page was taken a few miles north of our yard at Vadnais Lake.

See lifebird index.