Northwestern Crow

The Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus) is a species of crow that lives on seashore and lowlands within about 100 km of the Pacific Ocean coast between southern Alaska and the northmost corner of Washington. Corvus caurinus can be told apart from the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by its body size, which is about 10% smaller, and its smaller feet. The northwestern crow is a seashore predator of marine invertebrates, birds’ eggs, and chicks. It is found mostly around human habitation but also occurs along beaches and on seabird islands.

Population

There have been no systematic censuses of northwestern crows but Verbeek and Butler (1999) indicated that the North American Breeding Bird Survey did not show an increase between 1980 and 1995. They thought that sudden increases in local areas are probably a result of shifts in distribution rather than population changes but further study is needed. Flocks of several thousand crows form in late summer in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington to fly to evening roosts. The number of crows entering roosts numbers from a few birds to many thousands of individuals. The large communal roosts are used all year round but the greatest number is present from about October to March. In the early morning, crows return from the roost to feed in parks, suburban lots, farmlands, and beaches.

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