Calling Fish CrowCalling Fish Crow – Nikon D200, handheld, F6.3, 1/1250, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light

Fish Crows are fairly commonplace along the coast of Pinellas County and they are often ignored by photographers because they are a “plain” common bird. Personally I find their behavior interesting and their black coloring makes them a challenge to expose properly and; as I have mentioned before, I love a challenge.

Fish Crows are a highly social species, they often breed in small colonies and forage together in flocks. They can be found in lowland coastal areas of the Gulf  and Atlantic coastlines, riverbanks, estuaries, marshes and beaches. They can also found in parking lots and near human habitation.

Fish Crow pair looking for nesting materialsFish Crow pair looking for nesting materials – Nikon D200, handheld, F9, 1/320, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Fish Crows are omnivorous and will eat anything they think is edible. Some of the items in their diet are crabs, insects, small reptiles and fish, fruit, garbage, carrion, nestling birds along with bird and turtle eggs. In Pinellas County they often raid Least Tern nests.

Their nests consist of stick platforms situated in the fork of a tree with fine grasses lining the inner bowl. They lay 3-5 eggs between April and August and normally only have one brood.

Fish Crow close upFish Crow close up – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, natural light

In my observations of fish crows I found them to be the most approachable if I laid or sat still in the sand of the beaches or dunes and allowed them to move closer to me.  The bird above eventually got so close to where I was laying that I wasn’t able to focus on it.

They have a wonderful iridescence in some light where blues and golden tones will show. Some people dislike them but I find them as fascinating as I do any other bird species.


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