Perching Birds

Fish Crow Fish Crow
Corvus ossifragus


17" (43 cm). All black, somewhat smaller than American Crow, but size is deceptive in the field. Best told by voice.


Two calls, both distinct from the American Crow's familiar caw-a nasal kwok and a nasal, two-noted ah-ah. In breeding season, young American Crows have a similar kwok call.


Low coastal country, near tidewater and pine barrens in North; in South, also lakes, rivers, and swamps far inland.


4 or 5 greenish eggs, with brown blotches, in a stick nest lined with pine needles, grass, hair, or bark flakes and placed in an evergreen or deciduous tree.


Resident on Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts and extreme southern New England south to Florida, and along Gulf Coast west to Texas; also inland along larger rivers north to Illinois. Some northern birds migrate south in winter.


Many coastal heronries have attendant Fish Crows, ever ready to plunder the heron nests for eggs. Omnivorous feeders, like all crows, they also consume corn, insects, lizards, wild and cultivated fruits, and often carrion and dead fish-hence the name.