My Bantam Lake

Fish Crow

Written on 06/10/2018

Corvus ossifragus

One of two kinds of crows (along with the American Crow) common across the eastern United States. The two are difficult to distinguish. Fish Crows have a standard crow shape with hefty, well-proportioned bodies, heavy bills, sturdy legs, and broad wings. They measure approximately 36 to 40 centimeters in length, and have a wingspan of approximately 84 centimeters. Fish Crows are all black, with immature birds less glossy and sometimes slightly brown. They are very social birds, remaining in pairs during the breeding season and in groups of up to several hundred during migration or winter. They sometimes mix with American Crows when feeding or roosting. When making their distinctive nasal call, they puff out their neck and body feathers. Fish Crows live along the coasts and inland along major freshwater rivers and lakes.

Fish Crows are omnivores, and get most of their food by foraging on the ground. They nest in trees, building a new nest for each breeding attempt. Fish Crows are of low conservation concern.

Fun facts:

  • When Fish Crows find a good source of food, they may cache the surplus for later. These hiding places are especially useful when nesting adults need to feed their young.
  • Fish Crows are nest-robbers of many kinds of waterbirds and songbirds.
  • The oldest known Fish Crow lived to be 14 years, 6 months old.


Source: Fish Crow Overview and Identification Info, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology