I hope to see her tonight, and will pass on the request. She is quite sure the smaller birds are crows, however, as she sees them regularly. At least I'll get better information as to date/time/location.
Sandra ________________________________________ From: bounce-125570098-3493...@list.cornell.edu <bounce-125570098-3493...@list.cornell.edu> on behalf of Dave Nutter <nutter.d...@me.com> Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 8:53 AM To: CAYUGABIRDS-L Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird What would help is to know the location & date to determine a basic list of what birds likely are in that area at that season. Further information about habitat could also narrow down the likely species. Then it would really help to get a copy of that video in front of another experienced birder to judge the shape of both kinds of birds, including bill & tail, and their relative size. It’s surprisingly easy to misjudge the size of birds at a distance, so the fact that there are 2 species in view together is your best help, and you must use shape, behavior, pattern & color to try to pin down one of them. There could be some subtle information in that video that would not be obvious everyone. Speed of walking is also a clue to size. Assuming the video is from April in Northeastern US, and knowing the basics of what blackish birds feed in flocks on the ground and tolerate each other, we currently have lots of European Starlings and Common Grackles doing that. Brown-headed Cowbirds are another possibility. Red-winged Blackbirds are more territorial and single now but might also gather at a food source. American Crows are also territorial now but could be either single or in small family groups or again might gather at a large food source. Common Ravens are in some places, but typically are chased off by Crows. Turkey Vultures (or rarely Black Vultures) are also a possibility depending on the type of food put out, but might also be chased off by Crows. It’s common for people unfamiliar with Grackles to call them Crows, either occasionally at a distance, or habitually. So, if you saw very long wedge-shaped tails, that’s an ID for one species. Or the very short tails of Starlings or the way they walk and probe, can help ID them. Even Crows and Ravens have slightly different shapes and behaviors. And eagles and vultures may also be distinguished by shape. With all these unknowns and conjectures, I think a closer look at the video is what’s needed. - - Dave Nutter On Apr 22, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Peter Saracino <petersarac...@gmail.com<mailto:petersarac...@gmail.com>> wrote: Sibley: Ravens 24" long Crows 17.5 " long On Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 1:24 PM Sandra J. Kisner <s...@cornell.edu<mailto:s...@cornell.edu>> wrote: I suggested raven to her, but it was an awful lot larger. Is there that much difference between crows and ravens? Sandra ________________________________________ From: Donna Lee Scott <d...@cornell.edu<mailto:d...@cornell.edu>> Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:45 PM To: Sandra J. Kisner Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird Ravens hang around where eagles are, but i am not sure crows would tolerate being next to them. Kevin McGowan would know. Donna Scott Lansing Sent from my iPhone On Apr 22, 2021, at 12:41 PM, Sandra J. Kisner <s...@cornell.edu<mailto:s...@cornell.edu><mailto:s...@cornell.edu<mailto:s...@cornell.edu>>> wrote: By appearance the eagle seems more likely than a vulture (the neck was short), but would crows tolerate it? I'll suggest it to her; I don't actually know where she lives, so I don't know if bald eagles are likely to be in the area. Sandra ________________________________________ From: Joshua Snodgrass <cedarsh...@gmail.com<mailto:cedarsh...@gmail.com><mailto:cedarsh...@gmail.com<mailto:cedarsh...@gmail.com>>> Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:11 PM To: Sandra J. Kisner Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird Any chance it was a juvenile Bald Eagle? Young birds are very dark, but have white markings. It would be huge compared to crows. On Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 10:19 AM Sandra J. Kisner <s...@cornell.edu<mailto:s...@cornell.edu><mailto:s...@cornell.edu<mailto:s...@cornell.edu>><mailto:s...@cornell.edu<mailto:s...@cornell.edu>>> wrote: I'm afraid I don't have much information to base my question on, but I promised I'd try. A friend showed me a short video on her phone of a group of crows that she puts food out for near the end of her long (rural) driveway, with a large dark bird apparently feeding with them. The shot is from far away; not knowing that I would have guessed it was a bunch of grackles being joined by a crow, but she assures me they are her usual crows. The guest is rather stocky, with a short (broad?) tail. The crows weren't in the least disturbed by the visitor, so it's not likely it was a hawk. At one point she pointed out what looked like a white wing bar (very hard to see at that distance). She also occasionally sees turkeys, but this didn't look like a turkey to me. Any ideas? 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