I looked around.  I had heard that before.  When I spied five Crows fussing with each other in a tree by the river;  I hustled over to watch them, hoping they would call again.


I smiled, yep, they were definitely Fish Crows.  We have 3 different kinds of Corvids here in NJ: American Crows, Fish Crows and the Common Ravens.  The most common is your regular ol’ Crow of farm and field.  It has a wide habitat range, from farms to woods.  Heck, I have them in the backyard often (maybe because of the bread I occasionally throw out).  The Fish Crow is mainly at the beach and other bodies of water,  like there on the Hudson River.  The Raven is a northern bird.  We have them at my house in the mountains, but, they are not common.  In fact it is sort of thrilling to see then anywhere in the East.

Where Crows and Ravens share the same habitat, you can tell them apart by voice and by sight.   The easiest and most reliable way to tell them all apart is by their call.   The American Crow caws.  The Fish Crow has a 2-syllable Huh-uh kind of sound.  (Imagine a small child shaking his head no and saying Huh-uh.)  Ravens have a coarse kronking kind of thing going on.  If you click on the links you can listen to the difference in their voices.  The voice thing can be tricky though, Crows and Ravens have a wide variety of crazy sounds.  As far as telling them all apart by sight; crows have a square tail and Ravens have a wedge-shaped tail.  There are size differences but realistically I have never seen them sitting side by side, so that is not much help.  Fish Crows are the smallest of the lot and always around water.  So in this case, habitat is key.

Which of the Crows do you have by you?

To see what is in other skies, check out Skywatch Friday.


Filed under Local schmocal, Photos

6 responses to “Skywatch-Crows

  1. Very informative post regarding telling the difference between a crow and raven. I love a sky with birds in them.

  2. As a bird lover I’m familiar with our crows. I’ve never seen the one on your header.

    Great photo.

  3. It’s always a good SkyWatch when you’re looking at birds in the sky! Great crow capture, Bev.

    As for crows, the regular ol’ American Crow is the only one I know of that I’ve ever seen around here (although “officially” we are right on the edge of Fish Crow range). The only time I’ve ever seen Ravens was on a miserable middle-of-the-winter business trip to upstate New York about a decade ago.

  4. ♥ Thanks for the informative post.
    I have been hearing the fish crows here in the panhandle of florida.

  5. I saw both fish crows and American crows in Virginia, but here in Michigan I’ve only seen the American.

    It was nice of that bird to pose so nicely for your skywatch. 🙂

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