Friday, November 5, 2010

Fish Crows-Price Chopper-Worcester

I did my weekly grocery shopping at Price Chopper today and always park near the back as that's where the gulls are so it gives me something to look forward to as grocery shopping is just down right painful so the birds make it less severe. Anyhow, I would get out of my car and see a crow that was acting funny by which I mean goofy and unlike an American Crow who carry themselves in a more dignified manner. It would be on top of the Wendy's sign trying to shake off its wet plumage from the morning rain and I was struck by how small it was. Hmmmmm, I thought as I entered the grocery store, what a weird looking crow. I would head back to the car with groceries in tow and sure enough there would be a couple of other crows in the area and I glanced at them and started loading up the car. I'd be lost in thought and putting away the groceries when suddenly I could hear one of the crows make a noise that made me stop dead in my tracks and try and find the bird through the call. It wouldn't take me long to find it and then it all started to make sense to me on why the crow I saw a half hour before caught my attention.

I'd immediately whip out my driod and send an email to Alan telling him I had some small crows making funny noises and hoped he was home so he could get over there to confirm as I have no experience with Fish Crows so wouldn't be comfortable enough to make that call on my own.

By the time I got home, put the groceries away and washed the floors, Alan would email be back and tell me he heard them as well, saw the size difference and was able to confirm they were in fact Fish Crows.
I would decide to head back there with my camera for some photos as well as video (and audio) and hope they were still around. Before leaving the house I would pack up a bag with bread and crackers just in case it would be needed of course as I know it's never good to feed the gulls, but desperate times call for desperate measures and this would be one of them!

Anyhow, I got there and threw out some white bread and flocks of Ring-billed Gulls swarmed me hoping for a piece for themselves. My cheeks would start to turn crimson as shoppers couldn't help but notice the spectacle or the noise, but I have gotten used to this by now and besides, I wanted to get a better look at those Fish Crows!
Soon enough, one would come over to investigate and two more would follow.
The first time our eyes meet. Sigh, such a cute little bird and not at all like the American Crows in that they are not at all shy. This one was only a few feet away from me at times.
No those are not bread crumbs you see near its bill, it's dandruff. Tee Hee

Anyhow, to not disappoint, I did get some video as you will see below.

The first one is good in that it shows you the size difference between the Fish Crows and the Ring-billed Gulls. Please disregard the baby talk you hear as I just can't help myself when it comes to birds. In fact, I believe this is why some come as close as they do, seriously!

The second one is where you can vaguely hear one at the end. OMG, I was so losing patience at this point as I had been there well over 1/2 an hour and was running out of goodies and it would be lunch hour which would mean Wendy's next door would be packed so I was the center of attention for everyone going through the drive through for lunch and I was getting rather tired of the stares and dirty looks! HA.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share as it's not that often we get Fish Crows here in Worcester County! If you are interested in seeing them for yourself they are at the Price Chopper in Worcester right off of Route 20. If you google "Price Chopper, Worcester, Fair", you should get exact directions to make it a little easier to find. They seem to like it most over at Wendy's and the Trailer Park so just keep you eyes AND most importantly you ears open!

Take care all.


Connie Kogler said...

Such amazing beautiful creatures.

Pssht! On folks who think you're crazy.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Yup, in the second clip, I heard the two rapid calls. No doubt about it. Exactly as it sounds down in Florida where they are easier to find.

Kim said...

Connie, it's amazing how tame they are in comparison to American Crows. I put out dog kibble and corn for my American Crows in winter and only when it snows out. Two years ago the crows would be smart enough to only come to my yard when it snowed and they would wait patiently on that tree until I was done. If I stuck around to see if they would go to the food, they never would. It would only be when I got in the house would they go and eat and one would always serve as a sentry. American Crows are very cautious and non trusting of people and with good reason. The Fish Crows I saw were just as friendly as the Ring-billed Gulls which was fascinating to see.

Thanks Steve, I seriously thought I was losing it as every time I turned off the darn video camera one would make a noise and I was desperate for some audio and never thought I'd get it. HA

Chris Petrak said...

Interesting post - I have yet to have an opportunity to study their behavior or observe how they differ from AMCR - have to rely on the voice. I wonder if they are innately less wary of humans, or have adjusted, along with the gulls, to an opportunistic food source. The Larids and Corvids all seem to take easy pickings when they can.

Kim said...

Chris, I had read that the Fish Crows were rather tame but wouldn't remember it until one came so close to me that I could have picked him up if he would have allowed me to. I think Corvids are going to be the bird species I focus on this winter with crows in particular as the American Crows are fascinating this time of the year with their roosting behaviour and have been saying that one of these days I'm going to try and find the roost and I think this may be the season I finally decide to do it. I am also going to start feeding them their own food in an area separate from my feeding stations as they won't go there because it's too close to the house. I'm going to see if I can get them to trust me enough to at least not fly away everytime I go out there while they are eating. So far, I have not been successful!

vijay said...

really nice photos..
particularly that black bird and white bird photo...
Hope you enjoyed a lot...

and its nice blog too....
Keep updating...

from the dandeli jungle resort

Hilke Breder said...

Nice post and videos, Kim. I am so envious! I haven't seen or heard a Fish Crow yet.


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