Tuesday, April 26, 2016

10 Fish Crow photos from Point Pelee

This beauty Fish Crow flew around the tip of Point Pelee several times (reverse migration!) on Monday... The handful of birders present were treated to a handful of nasal "uh" calls as it circled about. It was quite low, and as far as a "boring, black, crow" goes, it was actually a pretty exciting observation. 

I snapped a bunch of photos (as it was often quite low) and gave several passes. I've converted a few different 'looks' here.

Visual ID of these birds is pretty darn tough in my opinion - and it's a bit of a cop-out to talk about it (when we heard it call) - but I really did think that I could see some structural/GISS differences from this bird and the numerous AMCR I watch/photo flying past my condo each spring...

Some rough thoughts:

1. Long head
2. Long narrow (more rectangular than square) wings
3. tail seems more "pinched" at the base
4. Tail seems long and narrow. 

I put my amazing artistic skills to the test and did an exaggerated example of the differences on the left...

Also - there's that issue of the "primary formula" that everyone loves... I find it very unreliable without the best photos (and a number of examples) - but it works out ok with this bird (despite the damaged feathers):

I don't have a great AMCR to compare with, and have struggled with this in the past (thanks to those who have helped) - but with FICR you have a bird that has P9 a bit shorter than it looks on AMCR, with P8 and P7 looking rather long compared to the other "fingers"... Then P6 and P5 once again look shorter on the FICR than they would "appear" on an AMCR... 

P5 especially starts to "blend into the wing" and barely stand out as a "finger"... Whereas it should still be rather obvious and longer on AMCR...

It's not great, but there you have it!!!


Weather note:

My Sunday/Monday forecast and expectations fizzled a bit, despite both days being quite good. I was just thinking it would be better.... Then Tuesday (today) broke expectations by having rain hit Pelee overnight... I'm dying to hear if there are lots of birds around or not... Looking at Radar, I think Ohio will be reaping the benefits more than Pelee - but you never know until someone in the field reports!... 

The next week (or even two weeks) would be AMAZING weather... If it were early September... But it's not early September... So I'm a bit bummed out at the prospects of weather-related-birding... I guess we'll see how it plays out. 

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