Observation Logs, Connecticut, U.S.A. The American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos.

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Staging area in Norwich, Connecticut

Connecticut Crow Observation Logs

Updated: September 18, 2001.

This section includes reports of various observers from the State of Connecticut.

SHORELINE, CT: July 18, 2001.

Location_Description: We cut down two trees, and I think it made an easier get-away for crows. I used to have just a "lone" crow coming. He never said much. Now, with the area more open, I have several crows a day coming to feed at my feeder. They come at the same time every morning and in the early evening..announcing their arrival with three loud caws. One arrives first, then he sounds the all-clear to the others. One note..along with my much anticipated crows, came dozens of blackbirds. They have scared all other birds away, and I can barely keep up with the feeding. I do love the crows, and recently spotted a nest on my evening walk. I have also seen a few fish crows stopping, but not on a regular routine. ( Linda Barrett)

Milford, CT., USA: June 20, 2001

Location_Description: Yard with flythrough, high on a hill, near the CT shoreline. Large platform feeder, and four smaller ones.

Behavior: I have been trying to feed one crow who has come to watch my feeders for several weeks, now. I have been putting out dogfood, and bits of meat. He finally started landing on my feeder several days ago, first just in the early morning, and in the past three days, at various times during the day, and evening. Today, he was viciously attacked by four Bluejays who are regulars to my feeders. I hope the Crow is not permanently scared off. He still remains a "single" Crow, with none others in sight. He seems very, very timid..even movement in the house scares him off. Is this normal behaviour.? Is it possible to feed Crows along with other birds? I wonder why the Jays were intimidated by the Crow. They seem to get along with all the Grackles that I feed. ( Linda Barrett)

Norwalk, Connecticut: Reported June 8, 2001

Here is another phenomena about crows that I have noticed in the past two years, in late February, for one day only crows assemble on a large grassey field. The crows were in pairs and seem to bob their heads up and down while walking/dancing around each other. Many of them were dancing while others were in trees and on the grass crawing. Two years ago, I saw them assemble on a patch of grass land near a park just off I 95, in Norwalk, Exit 15 going North, off Main Avenue next to the Lockwood Matthrews Mansion Museum park. This year late in Feb, 2001 , I saw this happened at 225 High Ridge Road, a park like corporate headquarters. The crows assembled one day only and did their dance. I assume this is a mating ritual.

I have been watching and feeding crows for at least 6 years now. I became attached to a crow family about 5 years ago and watched out my windowr in my yard how the mother or one of the crows taught them to forge for food, while the other stayed in the tree as a lookout. They do have a pecking order. The mother had them in a line, there were three of them and she wanted them to stay in the order that she had them. One of the three young crows of this particular family kept trying to get in the front of the line and she would push, to the point of letting him have it with her beak to get him to stay in the order she wanted. That young crow finally did. The family came around for quite a while. I have not seem them this summer.

I do believe that crows learn and understand different things, a cat I had would hunt for field mice, chipmunck, and rabbit. After she killed the rodent she would bring it home and leave it on our porch. The crows would watch her and when she left, it seemed seconds later a crow would swoop down and take that wonderful prize away with. I would like to know more about these fascinating birds, I have the audubon book of birds that give you the nesting sites and life span, but not too much other detail. If you happen to know of any internet sites, books, etc. that have this information, would you please pass it on. (Judy Shuman)

Norwalk, Connecticut: October, November, December, January, February, 1999, 2000, 2001

Behavior: Every year for the past several years there has been a crow roost on the Route 7 extension, off of exit 15 off interstate 95. Crows will come every night to roost on the trees next to the highway, Norwalk, CT

Another behavior I have witnessed, there are several nesting pair of crows in my neighborhood of Norwalk, CT in the woods near the town lines of Norwalk,Wilton and New Canaan. When a red tail hawk comes in to the area, the crows caw very loud and swoop the hawk to motivate him to leave their area. This happens at least once a week. (Judy Shuman)

Connecticut Shoreline: June 1, 2001.

Location_Description: house with lots of shade trees, high on a hill, with a deeply wooded back lot. Five birdfeeders, with a high platform feeder located approximately six feet from the kitchen window. Located one mile inland from the Long Island Sound.

Behavior: One..yes..(only one) large crow coming to my feeder daily, mostly looking on while other birds eat. I bought dog food pellets for the Crow, and put out baked goods daily. I seem to have attracted every Grackle in town, but only one Crow, and he oftens just watches. What can I do to let him know that I am friendly and want to feed him?

Hartford, Connecticut: May 5, 2001.

Location_Description: Outlying city street, lined with apartment buildings, trees, medical buildings.

Behavior: Heard clacking sound outside my apartment window. The sound appeared to be coming from a huge crow in a tree across the street. The clacking was like that of a stork's beak, which I didn't expect from a crow. There were other smaller crows nearby that kept their distance from the clacking crow.

Comments: The clacking crow seemed to be making a display for the other crows, perhaps to establish its status. I got the impression it was not entirely welcome there, but asserting its right to be there. I've never heard of a crow clacking before. Have there been other reports of their making that noise? (Dave Wright)

Willimantic, Connecticut: February 20, 2000

At about 10:30 this morning, while walking my dogs at the local high school athletic field, I observed a most remarkable sequence of crow behavior. This was one of those pieces of crow behavior that sorely tempts the observer to interpret what he sees in terms of analogous human behavior.

The high school field is surrounded by large trees, mostly hardwood, but with some conifers mixed in. My attention was drawn to a tall conifer by a sequence of very unusual crow calls. There was frequent cawing, but on a higher pitch than usual mixed in with the rattling calls that seem to mimic squirrel warning calls and then what very clearly seemed to be the distress calls of a crow in dire danger, literally that kind of gargling gurgling call of a crow in the clutches of a hawk.

I moved closer and scanned the trees and spotted two crows in the conifer from which the calls were eminating, but rather than being in distress, they were obviously engaging in pre-mating activity, preening each other, rubbing bills, etc. It was hard to see clearly through the branches, but it seemed as if their behavior was clearly incompatible with the dire distress noises which I was still hearing.

I changed my position to get a better view, and was surprised to discover that there was a third crow on a branch several feet away from the pair and that it was this third bird that was vigorously engaged in producing the distress calls, though he was in no apparent danger at all. It was very difficult to interpret his/her behavior as anything other than the distress/jealousy of a rejected suitor.

After about three minutes of this performance, a flight of 7 crows appeared and made a beeline towards the conifer. The pair was startled into flight and a moment later the "distressed" crow took flight and joined the others. The whole group, the newcomers as well as the pair and the "distressed" bird, then flew away as a group without any further apparent interaction. (Michael Westerfield)

Rocky Hill, Connecticut: October 1998

This was in the back of a commercial building on a flat roof. I had previously observed that there was a group of crows that lived in the area. There is some woods and tall trees and a stream off of the parking lot. I had the back door open and when I glanced up I saw hundreds of crows coming in from all directions. What was interesting about this was the manner in which they arrived. Normally, they are are talkative, but this day they all came in, in dead silence. From all directions and not a sound. They stayed for about a half hour and one could hear them talking (but not crowing) and then they left just as respectfully as they arrived

My friend and I were very curious about what we had just witnessed. We decided that what we had just witnessed was a wake for a very high ranking or senior crow. We both felt very privileged to have witnessed this event. It was then that I found out that this friend who had also witnessed this event was also a crow fancier.

Where I live has a stream and I feed the ducks in the morning and leave scraps for the crows. They know me and when I whistle for them, they come from wherever they are in the woods or neighborhood. The curious thing about this is that the first to arrive do not land for breakfast but "caw" until the rest of the family comes as they must have a look-out. On rare occasions, they talk to me. Sometimes they caw three times and I whistle back three times - you can continue on this way with them changing how many times. The first time this happened - there was a long pause, like they were surprised that humans were talking to them. They will play this game as long as you continue to whistle back - tic for tac. (Mary McCaw, Jr.)

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