[Tweeters] What about those American/Northwestern Crows?

B B birder4184 at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 22 12:20:01 PDT 2018


In a WOS program maybe 3 years ago crow expert Professor John Marzluff from UW basically said it was not likely that there were any  "pure Northwestern Crows" until at least as far north as the Queen Charlotte Islands - if there is such a separate species at all.  I have submitted Ebird reports from Neah Bay designating Northwestern Crows when I see what strike me as somewhat smaller crows feeding on the beach and sounding a bit different, but I have my doubts.

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On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:05 PM, festuca at comcast.net<festuca at comcast.net> wrote: George Heleker wrote:
"I am wondering about the crows of northwestern WA, and am hoping that someone might have some new information."

Hi George - In 2015 Bill Tweit and Dave Slager put out an eBird article on crows here in the Northwest, that eBird regional editors are using; currently implementing the following review guidelines for eBird submissions in coastal Oregon and Washington.  I believe that this is the most recent guideline for our eBirding:
https://ebird.org/pnw/news/northwestern-crows-genetics-and-ebird-new-science-for-an-old-problem/
Basically, they 'prefer' American Crow for coastal birds on the Oregon Coast, the lower Columbia River, and Pacific County, Washington.  They 'prefer' that we use "American/Northwestern" for the "nearshore" areas of Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Clallam, Island, Whatcom, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Thurston & Mason Counties.

"American" Crow is "acceptable" for all those areas.  "Northwestern" Crow is Not Acceptable for eBird reports along the Oregon coast, the lower Columbia, and Pacific County, nor in the southern Salish Sea.

For my part, I used the "American/Northwestern" designation along the lower Mainland in B.C. a while back, and got "flagged".  The birds there sounded to me pretty much like the ones in Seattle and Olympia.  I was up on Vancouver Island in May, and couldn't really tell much difference in the birds around Victoria, Sooke, etc., all the way up to about Nanaimo. 
By the time I got to Campbell River, the crows on the beach sounded sufficiently distinct to me that I might even begin to "believe" in the NW Crow taxon . . . .
  ;-{)

But, for the most part, and until "they" get done with some DNA analyses, I tend to think along the lines that Greg Gillson wrote about:
http://nwbackyardbirder.blogspot.com/2011/06/bird-that-shouldnt-be.htmlas well as "Corey" in 10,000 Birds:
http://www.10000birds.com/crows-in-the-pacific-northwest-northwestern-american-or-something-in-between.htm

Hope this helps,
 - jon. anderson
   olympia


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