Monday, May 18, 2015

OBRC Request (and Fish Crow sample report)

It's that time of year again! We've all been birding our brains out, and seen some awesome fallouts and vagrants to satisfy the addiction for another year. Of course, now we take a break until we remember to actually write our OBRC reports on December 22nd, to make sure they get in the annual report cutoff...

So! Simple request - if you've got the time, please send something to in the next few weeks - to keep these things timely. It's a proven fact that we forget more and more with each passing minute/hour/day...

It is appreciated!


If you're looking for ideas on how to submit, here is a sample report of the Fish Crow we had fly past aaa_condo on May 17th. I had it finished and out the door on the same day. You'll be glad you did (on Dec 22)

Sample -

OBRC Report – Fish Crow
301 Frances Ave. Stoney Creek, On (from 17th floor balcony facing NE)
17 May 2015, 8:23am
Optics: Vortex Razor 8x42 Binoculars. Canon 1DX DSLR & 600mm F4 lens

Circumstances: Melissa Cameron and I were relaxing on our balcony, watching the light (to non-existent) movement of birds when a crow suddenly appeared – traveling W along the shoreline – maybe 200ft in the air. Before I could finish saying “Hey, are you a Fish Crow?” The bird gave two nasal single call notes of “nuh” – fairly quietly, of a Fish Crow. I went for the camera, took 4 photos, as we watched the bird leave, as it gave roughly five more of these quiet and distinctive calls. It was losing height, but we did not see if it landed anywhere nearby as it was lost from view to the west.

Description: all black corvid, roughly the size of our expected American Crows (I would not have detected a difference in this single bird). It was the nasal/toy like “nuh” calls that quite clearly gave the bird away as a Fish Crow (unlike any call of AMCR I have ever heard). See photos for more details (including the primary pattern)

Similar Species: American Crow separated by distinct nasal call notes. Primary formula is additional support, but I do not have complete confidence in this method based on photographing crows at Point Pelee for several years.

Weather: 17C, mix of sun and cloud/haze. No wind on the surface of the lake (calm) but potentially a light NE wind blowing above it. Light was ~90-130 degrees from observer to bird (vs. the sun) at the time.

Experience with species: The fourth individual I’ve “found” in Ontario (3 records). Two at Point Pelee in 2011, one at the same location in 2014. Hundreds in the USA from New Jersey to Florida on several different trips.

Brandon Holden
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