“Just Caws”

American Crow on left Fish Crow on right

I have written previously(August 2 and 3rd, 2021) about the Merlin app for the phone put out for free by Cornell University. It is invaluable to identify both birds and bird sounds. Late yesterday afternoon there was a long loud cacophony of bird sounds in the back yard. For a time I thought it might be a battle between crows and a red tailed hawk, a common spat here. But it sounded different somehow.

I opened Merlin and sat on the deck to discern what was happening. It turned out that a great conversation was raging between fish crows and American crows. Never having identified fish crows, I turned to my reference book. As you can see from the photos, it is hard to distinguish them. Only their sounds seem different enough to notice. Not only were these two supposedly(according to the reference book)compatible birds arguing, but they were being joined by a blue jay, a northern cardinal, a sparrow and a chimney swift.

Charlie’s blueberry crop flourishes and he left off the netting this summer since we still have so many berries in the freezer from last year’s bumper yield. Perhaps they were sharing the good news. Perhaps they were arguing about a fair distribution scheme. Sadly Merlin doesn’t allow me to translate “bird” into English. Maybe such an app is currently being developed by Google!

21 thoughts on ““Just Caws”

  1. we’ve been getting an amazing LOUD blackbird on our roof every morning (one of the few birdsongs I can recognise. Perhaps he’s telling my husband it’s time to get up. Shame he doesn’t sleep in his hearing aids…


  2. I wrote on my blog recently about noisy crows in the garden waking me when it was still dark. I didn’t need the app to tell me what bird it was though, as we only have the one type of crow in Beetley, the Carrion Crow.

    Avian Alarm Clock

    Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I am not familiar with this app, but it sounds great. I’m going to give it a try. My sister-in-law, who is into plants, is constantly using some app to identify them.


  4. Sadly I couldn’t get the merlin app to work reliably here. I’ve never heard of fish crows but your avian contretemps sounds fantastic.


  5. That app would be fabulous. I suppose Google would have to hire Dr. Dolittle. The crows must have had a heyday. We always root for the hawks over the crows.


  6. That must have been quite a discussion 🙂 Every morning we hear Treepies, babblers and bulbuls 🙂 We don’t see crows often. And we are not hearing the squirrels too.


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