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Showing posts from April, 2017

Goose Stepping Crows

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I was back in Deception Pass State Park this week watching crows at West Beach again.


This pair of Northwestern Crows(Corvus caurinus) came marching by in an orderly, military manner.  Their steps were in perfect unison as if a marching band was playing.


Zooming in on the above photo reveals feathers and fibers being carried in their beaks.  I presume these are being collected for use as nesting materials.  This is apparently a cooperative effort by the pair.


Northwestern Crows could be classified as shorebirds. They nest and make their living around salt water beaches and estuaries.  It is common to spot them foraging for mussels, clams  and snails on rocky beaches at low tide.  They are distinguished from American Crows by a smaller size and deeper voice.

Up With the Crows

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Two days ago, we experienced a fairly significant wind storm.  It is an odd time of the year for this.  Such a storm is typical for November, but not April.  Early yesterday morning, I headed over to West Beach in Deception Pass State Park to see what the surf was like.  The conditions there can be just like open ocean.


Off the Strait of Juan de Fuca it was still windy in the park, with only moderate surf.  Next to Cranberry Lake, I encountered a pair of Northwestern Crows(Corvus caurinus).  One was perched on the bench of a picnic table.  He was preening wet, spiky feathers.  Apparently, he had just finished a bath in the lake.


"Do you mind?"

"Alley-Oop!"


Northwestern Crows are a bit smaller than their cousin the American Crow and have a deeper voice.  They nest and make their living around salt water beaches.  Like gulls, they will fly up and drop mussels, clams, and snails onto rocks (or concrete sidewalks) to break them open.  You might catch a couple dozen patr…