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American or Fish Crow? SC


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#1 Shoveler26

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

Hi all,
Yet another ID I saw this on a gulf course close to the Ocean in SC and was wondering if it was a American Crow or a Fish? They get both in the area.

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Shoveler26

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#2 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:06 PM

Did you happen to hear it call? These guys are notoriously difficult to tell apart visually. We had both in large numbers when I lived in Fl and I'm still not comfortable distinguishing them :)

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#3 Grandpa577

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:08 PM

We have both here, also. According to Sibley, [Fish Crow] 'Averages slightly smaller than American with subtle differences in shape; best distinguished by voice.' He also indicates that the Fish Crow has longer wings and tail and shorter legs than an American Crow. I am at a loss how you can confidently determine that.

#4 horseface

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:13 PM

Whichever one you'd like it to be :P.

But yeah the call is the best way with these. They're pretty easy to distinguish with that but for the most part I'm just happy with "crow" since we get plenty of both types around where I am.

Fish crows sound like wimpy crows.

#5 psweet

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

Grandpa, I think you need to catch a bunch and measure them. ;) Actually, I think if you watch them carefully enough in a place where you get both, you might be able to separate them in flight by the relative length of the tail and head beyond the wings.

#6 Joejr14

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:58 PM

We have both here, also. According to Sibley, [Fish Crow] 'Averages slightly smaller than American with subtle differences in shape; best distinguished by voice.' He also indicates that the Fish Crow has longer wings and tail and shorter legs than an American Crow. I am at a loss how you can confidently determine that.


I agree with this. We got both in CT, especially by the shore, and IMO they're impossible to tell apart visually. If you didn't hear the crow call then good luck with the ID.

#7 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 07:00 PM

Grandpa, I think you need to catch a bunch and measure them. ;) Actually, I think if you watch them carefully enough in a place where you get both, you might be able to separate them in flight by the relative length of the tail and head beyond the wings.


I've tried this, with the problem being that you can't always positively ID many of them in the field. Mixed feeding flocks of these guys can be relatively quiet and leave the majority of individuals as questionable IDs. That's been my experience, at least...

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#8 Liam

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:05 PM

Unless you're an expert on crows, there's no way you can distinguish American Crow from Fish Crow besides voice and behavior.
In the Summer here, especially along the Coast, Fish Crow is more likely.

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#9 Shoveler26

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:55 PM

Cool so Fish crow it is!

My Recent Lifers:Smith's LongspurWestern Grebe, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie FalconWhooping crane, Golden Eagle, Snowy Owl, Ross's Goose, Harris's Sparrow
Recent Yard List: Merlin, Eastern Screech Owl, White throated sparrow
My Year list: 122 / FOY'S: Eastern Screech owl, Red Throated Loon, White Winged Scoter, Glaucous Gull, Great Black Backed gull, Rough legged hawk, Snow goose, Eastern Meadowlark, Lapland Longspur, Red breasted Nuthatch, Barred Owl Snowy Owl, Hooded Merganser, Merlin, Greater white fronted goose, Cackling goose, Northern Shoveler,
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#10 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:56 PM

Cool so Fish crow it is!


Just a note, if I were you I would just mark this down as crow sp. Even though FIsh are more likely given your date/location, its still possible to see American Crows and there is nothing in this photo to rule out one or the other.

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#11 Shoveler26

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 09:32 PM

I strongly agree with you Billy But I remember seeing lots of Fish crows in this area so I would Assume.

My Recent Lifers:Smith's LongspurWestern Grebe, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie FalconWhooping crane, Golden Eagle, Snowy Owl, Ross's Goose, Harris's Sparrow
Recent Yard List: Merlin, Eastern Screech Owl, White throated sparrow
My Year list: 122 / FOY'S: Eastern Screech owl, Red Throated Loon, White Winged Scoter, Glaucous Gull, Great Black Backed gull, Rough legged hawk, Snow goose, Eastern Meadowlark, Lapland Longspur, Red breasted Nuthatch, Barred Owl Snowy Owl, Hooded Merganser, Merlin, Greater white fronted goose, Cackling goose, Northern Shoveler,
My Indiana big year list: 150
My life list: 297

 

                                                                                                   


#12 Liam

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 09:37 PM

Yeah, today I saw a ton of crows, but I marked them all down as Crow sps.

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