If one looks at Maine eBird checklists . . . you’ll find 47% of them have at least one American Crow . . . and I believe that it’s actually closer to 95% as folks tend to ignore this omnipresent bird.
When I go out birding, I almost immediately hear American Crows “caw” sounds and a half a dozen familiar vocalizations.
But in Maine, around shopping centers, strip malls and convenience stores, particularly in the warmer months there is a slightly smaller Crow . . . the Fish Crow. The further south one goes along the eastern seaboard the more Fish Crows you’ll find (along with their American Crow cousins).
Identifying a Fish Crow can be challenging as the birds are practically identical. To the trained eye the Fish Crow is overall a little smaller and its legs are shorter. Also, the Fish Crow in the right light can have a blue sheen and tends to lean forward, its body parallel to the ground.
But the only definitive way to tell the difference is the two species vocalization. The Fish Crow makes a nasal “cahrr” sound.
Click to listen to my recording.
Today I picked up Maine Big Year Bird #139, the Fish Crow, in a shopping area in Kennebunk.