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Fish Crow

Fish Crow
Photo Information
Copyright: Jane Magen (jaycee) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS, 1.5 Teleconverter
Exposure: f/4, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-14 7:18
Viewed: 3501
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)

The Fish Crow is superficially similar to the American Crow but is smaller (3641 cm in length) and has a more silky smooth plumage by comparison. The differences are often only really apparent between the two species when side by side or, when heard calling. The bill is usually somewhat slimmer than the American Crow also but again, this may not help much when there is no other bird for comparison.

Visual differentiation from the American crow is extremely difficult and often inaccurate. Nonetheless, differences apart from size do exist. Fish crows tend to have more slender bills and feet. There may also be a small sharp hook at the end of the upper bill. Fish crows also appear as if they have shorter legs when walking. More dramatically, when calling, fish crows tend to hunch and fluff their throat feathers.

The voice is the most outwardly differing characteristic for this species and other American Crow species. Describes as a nasal and hoarse "ark-ark-ark" including a begging "waw-waw".

The latest genetic testing now seems to indicate that this species is close to both the Sinaloan Crow, (Corvus sinaloae) and the Tamaulipas Crow, (Corvus imparatus) and not as close to the American Crow, (Corvus brachyrhynchos) as outward signs would suggest.

This species occurs on the eastern seaboard of the United States from the state of Rhode Island south to the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico and follows many river systems inland for quite some distance. Coastal marshes and beaches are frequented, also rivers, inland lakes and marshes, river banks, and the land immediately surrounding all.

Food is taken mainly from the ground and even in shallow water where the bird will hover and pluck food items out of the water with its feet. Small crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps, other invertebrates, stranded fish and live fish if the situation favors their capture, eggs and nestlings, small reptiles and fruits of many trees, peanuts and grains, human scraps where available.

The nest is usually built high in a tree and is often accompanied in nearby trees with other nests of the same species forming small, loose colonies. There are usually 4-5 eggs laid.

This species appears to be somewhat more resistant to West Nile Virus than the American crow. Survival rates of up to 45% have been reported for fish crows, compared with near zero for the American species.


This may be the first time on TN.

siggi, eng55, nglen, Dis. Ac., maurydv, CeltickRanger, Adanac, eqshannon, ellis49, xTauruSx, marhowie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-14 7:38]

Hello Jane!
Very nice capture.Details on black feathers are perfect.
I liked POV,BG and composition a lot.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-11-14 8:00]

Hi Jane,
Beautiful shot.POV,BG,moment you caught and composition are excellent.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-14 11:25]

Hi Jane. This is often the case two birds look alike untill together . You have taken this crow with good detail in the smooth feathers . shaowing its almost beard looking feathers. well done Good notes too. TFS.

Have a good weekend.

Hi Jane,
nice pov and pose of this bird, looks into the good direction.
I never been seen such a crow.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-14 13:40]

Hello Jane,
Beautiful photo, although I've seen sharper photos from you, but the focus on the head is very good. Excellent composition. Very beautiful BG.
Have a great weekend,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-11-14 14:07]

Hi Jane,nothing better to show a crow,a very dark and terrific atmosphere and a perfect point of view in a ground of clouds!Really perfect,my best compliments,Luciano

Ciao Jane,
spettacolare cattura di questo Corvide, bellissima composizione per la splendida postura colta, ottima definizione.

hello Jane

i did'nt know that their is also a crow that we call Fish Crow,
excellent shot of a bird that i don't love too much
but it is from here, from TN that i am starting to love it as a bird,
fine POV and framing i love his crow style expression, TFS


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-11-14 17:46]

Hello Jane,
Looks like he had something to say Jane. Looks really overcast that day, but you managed to get great plumage details. Good work my friend.

Hello Jane

Crows are difficult to photograph I find,but you have managed a very good exposure showing plumage detail and definition.
Good pose captured,you have some nice catch light in the eye as well.


You should get the award for the day Jane..I loved it just before my neighbor stopped to ask me a favor and I am late in getting back..all she wanted was smokes...ah well..I have not smoked since 1976..all the better but I am a goo d guy to have as a friend..even broke I help them out...Jolly shot gal...It is Super moody..I think Poe died down that way somewhere..Did you know that? he was also a polygamist...ouch!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-11-14 22:07]

Hi Jane,
Wonderful shot of this Crow calling out to friends. Very neat and sharp image with beautiful lighting. Fine exposure handling and the blue sky works well here. Excellent DOF, POV and composition.

Hi Jane,
a nice picture of a crow I never have heard about.
On my monitor it's a wee bit to dark and I downloaded and
checked the levels in photoshop and you can give it some more light.
It's well composed with good sharpness and nice POV.
The crow standout well against the sky.
Well done, mf.
Have a nice weekend.

Hi Jane,
I have never seen this specie before! It looks a lot like our crows but it seems indeed to be smaller. You captured nice details on it dark plumage with good composition and pose. I have seen a documentary once which evaluated the level of intelligence among bird species and crows were on the top. This study shows that they also can use kind of tools to feed themselves. Which specie do you think was at the bottom of this scale? Doves... :) Thanks,

Wonderful exposure - I have trouble with blackbirds - always seems the black just melts together into one glob. You did a fantastic job here!
Great pose too...like there's a story behind the scene. Good stuff!!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-11-15 9:39]

Hello Jane, nice shot of the Fish Crow, a first for me I think. Well composed and nicely shot, well done!


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-15 13:11]

Hi Jane,
I've never seen a Fish Crow on TN before so it very well might be the first! If so then CONGRATULATIONS! :-))
In fact I've never even heard of a Fish Crow so thanks for posting this :-)
Very good pose.
Superb composition.
Good exposure.

Well done,

Merhaba, great composition with fantastic pose of this beautiful crow, splendid details of dark plumage, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Jane, this one is realy funny and cute:). The crow2s and bg's clours are very well fit.

Hi Jane,
Immediately makes me think of the Hitchcock classic, "The Birds".
The pose combined with the dark mood works well IMO..
He's actually calling out to his flock, organizing the next attack ;-}}

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