Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: December 7, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 9

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Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Ellen
    Participant
    I live in a city (Raleigh, NC) and the crows seem to be doing well. I haven't seen large numbers at any one time, usually only 2-3 (most often hear them calling). The most I've encountered is 4, and that was during a mile-and-half walk in a local greenway (I did not encounter all 4 at the same time, but at different point during my walk). Raleigh has lots of trees, especially oaks, and the greenways are usually around creeks, so there is lots of natural food available (as well as junk food in trash cans, dumpsters and the landfill). I haven't noticed them nesting (I need to look for their nests), nor I have noticed much in the way of interactions with people. I have no idea how people around here feel about crows. I expect I'd hear a lot if we had a large roosting area.  I've also seen crows at the Outer Banks but most of those are Fish Crows. The Outer Banks also have a variety of food (both natural and junk), plenty of fresh water, and I'm sure the crows are nesting there but I don't know where. I haven't seen any these coastal crows interact with people, but I'm never there in the summer when such interactions might be more likely (lots more people who eat junk food in the summer). I've seen more interactions between gulls and people. By the way, I grew up in the Los Angeles area and crows were very rare while I was living there. Sometime long after I moved out, my mother began to comment about the number of crows appearing in the neighborhood (this was probably in the 90's when she starting noticing the crows). Don't know if it is coincidence or not, but my mother also commented that many of the smaller songbirds had disappeared - Western Tanager for example. She was noticing a much smaller variety of birds. The only birds that seemed to remain constant were Mourning Doves and House Sparrows.
  • Ellen
    Participant
    1. From the little I've seen of the local crows, they do appear healthy. I haven't seen any evidence of foot disease, and I have no knowledge about the impact of West Nile. Over the years I've been birding, I have seen several gulls with a missing leg and they seem to have no trouble getting food or getting around on the ground (they hop). I can't speak to how successful (nor not) gulls missing a leg might be. 2. The crows that I've seen have been generally cooperative, but I haven't paid as much attention to them during the breeding season as I do to other songbirds (the ones at my feeders, which does not include crows).
  • Ellen
    Participant
    1. The usual genetic abnormalities and increased risk of illness/death (just as with humans).  2. This wasn't surprising as I had learned that many other bird species have extra-pair fertilization (I believe most of those who pair up for either many breeding cycles or for life, do this), so why not crows as well. I think it would be beneficial in terms of increasing genetic diversity. Not that the crows probably care about genes, per se, but they likely do care about long-term survival, and increased genetic diversity can improve survival.
    in reply to: Secret Sex Lives #798319
  • Ellen
    Participant
    I think an easier time. As long the individual birds are patient (willing to wait 2 or more years before trying to breed), they have many options as to where they will breed and with whom. It all helps with the end result - successful breeding each year.
  • Ellen
    Participant
    1. No.  2. I haven't seen a large group of crows before, but I am always amazed when I see large flocks of grackles, geese, swans and other flocking birds. It's just incredible to watch thousands of geese and/or ducks, or cormorants as they fly from roosting area to feeding area, and back.
    in reply to: Roosts #798103
  • Ellen
    Participant
    1. No, not in my local area. 2. Yes, ducks(Redheads, Northern Pintail), Snow Geese, Tundra Swans, grackles, blackbirds. This has largely been at the coast (the North Carolina Outer Banks) in the winter.
    in reply to: Life in a Flock #798092
  • Ellen
    Participant
    Putting tags on wings is not uncommon, especially for bigger birds. Wing tags have been used to identify California Condors in the wild for years, especially for those who were captive-bred and then released into the wild. It is much easier to see a large wing tag than any leg bands on a bird that spends much of its time soaring/flying.
  • Ellen
    Participant
    I didn't know that young crows had blue eyes. I did think it was fascinating to learn just how much data about the crows has been collected over 30 years. It was also very interesting to learn about the various bands and identification markers used, and how long they lasted (I'm actually surprised that some of them last 10 years or more).
  • Ellen
    Participant
    I can mostly tell crows apart from other "black birds", usually by checking the tail (in the case of grackles) or looking for a color other than black on the bird (Red-wings, cowbirds). One tip for separating grackles from Corvids is iridescence - the black on a grackle is not a true black but is iridescent and shines with blues and greens in direct sunlight (beautiful). Grackles and other blackbirds also have a light- or white-colored iris, unlike crows and ravens which have dark irises (admittedly, you do need to be closer to the bird to see the iris color, but these birds often land on the ground or perch in trees which makes identifying iris color simpler). I live in central NC but often visit the Outer Banks of NC. Both American and Fish Crows occur in the Outer Banks, with Fish Crows more common. Now, those two species are very hard to tell apart. The best way I know to tell the difference is voice - they sound quite different, but doesn't help when the crow flying by or perched is silent. I know the Fish Crow is smaller than the American Crow, but that is only useful if one happens to see both species next to each other (that doesn't happen, or at least has never happened for me). Any additional tips for identifying these 2 species would help.
    in reply to: Crow Not Crow #795053
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