[CT Birds] More on Fish Crows

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Sun May 27 18:42:27 EDT 2012

Each spring, the Hartford Audubon Society does a three-week "census", which is really an effort to tally as many species in participating towns during the period -- basically covering the first three weeks of May.  Not a scientific effort by any means, and the results are determined in many respects by how many birders participate and how much effort they put in, but general trends tend to show up in the cumulative results, e.g., cuckoos are getting really hard to find, ravens and Black Vultures are more widespread, etc..  I have results from 1998 to the present which reveal that Fish Crow has showed up on an average of 54% of town checklists during this period.  They seem to have made a rather dramatic incursion into the area during the mid to late 90's, then leveled off some for a few years.  Results from 2000 to 2005 are all slightly below the average of 54%.  Since 2006 each year has been a slightly above average result for this species on the Census.  I have some recollection that the mid-90's saw an expansion of them up into our area. 

It has been my personal experience that the species is more likely to be found inland near large rivers and around strip malls and sometimes golf courses in heavily suburban areas, and is absent in locales which are heavily wooded, probably also less likely in towns that have nice rivers going through them that aren't marred by heavy suburban development.  Many of you know that I keep personal checklists for each town in the state, and have recorded at least 90 species in each one.  I have found Fish Crows much more commonly the farther south and west I've gone in the state.  I have it in more than half of the towns in Fairfield, New Haven and Hartford Counties.  All of the places in Litchfield county where I have it are pretty much fit the profile above.  Paul Carrier, I have it in North Canaan, which like your Winsted (town of Winchester), is as far north in CT as one can go!  I have it in relatively few towns in New London county, and only in one town apiece in Tolland and Windham counties.  Living in western Hartford county, it can be kind of a haul for me to go to the eastern three counties and that might depress the numbers there some, but I have hit those towns often enough to get at least 90 species in each so I've put my time in there for sure.  Perhaps if I spent more time in town centers than in the forest in those places I'd have a few more ticks on this species there, I can't say for certain.

Frank Gallo, I DID go birding this morning.  But didn't get anything newsworthy for this group.  Or for that matter, any Fish Crows.  Maybe tomorrow!

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

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