4 Types of Corvids Found in Connecticut

Discover the incredible world of corvids found in Connecticut! Corvids, including crows and jays, are renowned for their intelligence and impressive abilities. From demonstrating self-awareness in mirror tests to using tools for foraging, these birds continue to astonish researchers. Not only are they incredibly smart, but their brain-to-body mass ratio is comparable to great apes and whales, coming in just slightly lower than humans. In this article, you will learn about four fascinating types of corvids found in Connecticut: the American Crow, the Blue Jay, the Common Raven, and the Fish Crow. Get ready to be amazed by these feathered creatures’ remarkable characteristics and behaviors!

American Crow

Identifying Characteristics

The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large bird that is entirely black with an iridescent sheen. It has a long black bill, black legs, and black feet.

Habitat

American Crows are adaptable birds and can be found in almost every habitat in Connecticut. They are commonly seen in woodlands, fields, rivers, marshes, farms, parks, landfills, golf courses, cemeteries, and neighborhoods.

Feeding Habits

While American Crows don’t come to feeders as often as other birds, they are attracted to certain foods. They have a particular fondness for peanuts, whether in the shell or out. They also readily consume whole-kernel corn and suet.

Intelligence and Behavior

American Crows are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. They are capable of using tools and recognizing human faces. In fact, they have been observed doing activities just for fun, such as using round objects to sled down roofs. They have a large vocabulary and communicate through various caws, rattles, cackles, and clicks.

Vocalizations

The most common sound made by American Crows is a “caw-caw.” They have a wide variety of vocalizations, including different caws, rattles, cackles, and clicks.

Blue Jay

Identifying Characteristics

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) has beautiful blue feathers with black bars on its back. Its underparts are white, and it has a black necklace around its head. Males and females look the same.

Habitat

Blue Jays are commonly found in Connecticut and can be seen in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, parks, and gardens.

Feeding Habits

Blue Jays are known for their bold personalities and high intelligence. They visit bird feeders and have the ability to fit as much food as possible in their throat sacks. They particularly enjoy cracking open whole peanuts to access the inside. They can also be attracted to sunflower seeds and corn.

Intelligence and Behavior

Blue Jays are intelligent birds and are excellent mimics. They frequently imitate hawks, sometimes to deceive other birds into believing a hawk is present. They are also known for their alarm calls, which sound like “jeer.”

Vocalizations

In addition to their alarm call, Blue Jays make a variety of other vocalizations. They can imitate the sounds of many other bird species and even humans if raised in captivity.

Common Raven

Identifying Characteristics

The Common Raven (Corvus corax) is a large, completely black bird with a hefty and thick bill. It has a wedge-shaped tail when in flight.

Habitat

Common Ravens are highly adaptable and can be found in various habitats in Connecticut. They are often seen near the edges of towns and in landfills that provide a consistent food source. However, they can also live far away from civilization.

Feeding Habits

Ravens are intelligent predators and have been observed teaming up to get food. They steal eggs from nests and attack larger prey, such as newly born lambs. They are also known to scavenge carrion and are not picky eaters.

Intelligence and Behavior

Common Ravens are considered one of the most intelligent birds. They are drawn to gunshots during hunting season to investigate the carcass but ignore other loud noises that don’t lead to food. They are impressive vocalists and can mimic the sounds of other bird species and even humans if raised in captivity.

Vocalizations

Common Ravens make a range of vocalizations, including harsh grating calls, shrill alarm sounds, and a gurgling croak that rises in pitch.

Fish Crow

Identifying Characteristics

The Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) is slightly smaller than the American Crow and has a completely black appearance, including its legs, bill, and eyes. It looks very similar to the American Crow, making identification challenging.

Habitat

Fish Crows are often found near bodies of water in Connecticut. They are social birds and adapt well to life around people.

Feeding Habits

Despite their name, Fish Crows eat a wide variety of foods. They consume eggs, nestlings, fruit, grains, carrion, marine invertebrates, trash, and even human food. They are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any available food source.

Intelligence and Behavior

Fish Crows share many characteristics with other corvids, including their sociability, intelligence, and adaptability to human environments. They often spend time together in mixed flocks with American Crows.

Vocalizations

One way to distinguish Fish Crows from American Crows is by their distinct call. Fish Crows make a short, nasally sound that sounds like “cah” or “uh,” which is different from the “caw-caw” of an American Crow.

Overall, Connecticut is home to a variety of corvid species, each with its own unique characteristics, habitat preferences, feeding habits, intelligence, and vocalizations. Observing these birds can provide fascinating insights into their behavior and interactions with their environment.

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