The Calm Earlier than The Crows

Fish crows at Red Hook, NY (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

30 August 2023

In August within the East Finish of Pittsburgh we get a style of November nightfall. It isn’t the climate or the clouds or the time of sundown. It’s a flock of greater than 100 crows, a touch of the hundreds to come back this fall, that collect on rooftops alongside Neville Road earlier than flying west to roost.

This 12 months in early August the crows have been completely silent however because the month progressed a couple of spoke out, telling me they have been in a combined flock of American and fish crows. American crows (Corvus brachyrhyncos) say “Caw.” Fish crows say a nasal “Uh-oh” (Corvus ossifragus). It’s the one dependable method to inform them aside.

American crow: “Caw Caw Caw.”

Fish Crow: Nasal “Uh oh”

video by Sayre Nature HD on YouTube

I wished to depend by species however the crows remained silent and unidentifiable via a lot of the month. I attempted to inform them aside by sight however my concentrate on look made it inconceivable to depend. So I cease attempting. My August eBird checklists place all of them as “American crows” with an X for “Fish crows current.”

Then instantly final Saturday they have been all “speaking” and about three quarters of them have been fish crows. The flock continued on Sunday night however I used to be too busy to depend. I shouldn’t have assumed they’d be right here on Monday. They have been gone and so they haven’t been again.

The large flocks will arrive in late October, comprised of 90+% American crows.

For now we’re within the Calm Earlier than The Crows.

p.s. eBird’s Fish Crow Weekly Abundance map exhibits a dot in Pittsburgh within the month of August … after which it’s gone. Watch the animation here.

(credit are within the captions)

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