Fish crows and other signs of spring

It’s still winter out there: the snow is blowing around over the frozen ground. But somewhere nearby there must be open water, because the fish crows are back.

I heard the call this morning: the distinctive “uh-uh”, like a three-year-old refusing to put on shoes. I love that nasal call.

I had come to the land of the fish crows.
When we first moved to this city on the southern edge of the Adirondacks, I wondered why there were trees full of juvenile crows all hanging out together. They sounded to me like juveniles at least, nasal and squawky; and they were smaller than the average crow. They flocked together, taking off from one tree and descending on another with loud commotion. Was this a roving band of city juveniles? I’d never seen this behavior before. Where were their parents?

I soon found out they were a different kind of crow altogether. I had come to the land of the fish crows. And they were everywhere, till November, when they suddenly took off. Where did they go? I looked it up in a bird book and found that fish crows migrate to open water in the winter. That’s because they primarily eat fish.

I’m just starting to learn about these fantastic birds that do everything in large groups. I will spend my time with them this season learning all there is to know about fish crows and their habits. And enjoying their endearing calls. Now that they’re back, they’ll turn their attention to nesting soon, I’ll bet. Won’t that be a scene to witness.

The chickadees are out there in the cold singing their love songs to each other. The cardinals have been extra vocal these days, especially at dawn. Even though winter is hanging on, the birds know what’s coming. They’re getting ready for spring.


Popular posts from this blog

City crows

The Squirrel