American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

Both crows and jays have bristles covering nostril which places them in the same family
Infrequent year-round visitor to Salter Grove
A familiar silhouette
But wait, here's a leucistic form!
And even a piebald version!
Eating fish does not make it a Fish Crow
Clamming is not an easy living
Primary (finger) feathers round out the wing shape
Worn primary feathers will be replaced one-by-one when breeding is done
Tail feathers are even at tip
Tail is fan-like when spread
American Crow (top) is smaller than Common Raven
About same size as Cooper's hawk
Mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk
A clutch contains 3 to 9 eggs
Nestlings demanding and getting food
Both parents feed nestlings
Nearly adult-sized fledgling still begging
This parent likely to quit soon

American crows are omnivorous, feeding on acorns, carrion, invertebrates, nuts and scraps of food left by humans.  They are also hunters of small animals like mice and frogs. They can live in pretty much any open habitat with trees, preferably conifers and large oaks in which they like to nest.  They are rarely solitary, usually traveling in extended family groups.  Offspring stay with their parents a year or two to help rear siblings before setting out on their own.  Small groups of 3-4 have been observed foraging on the exposed mudflats near the condominiums to the north of Salter Grove. Their raucous calls can be heard from all parts of the park as they fly overhead.

Susceptibility to the West Nile virus has caused the crow population to decline by 45% since 1999, the year that the virus was first detected in the U.S.  Crows cannot transmit the virus to humans directly but affected individuals can indicate the presence of the disease in an area.