Watching, Attracting and Feeding Birds in New York
with Sam Crowe

Quote the Raven - Never more.

Ravens are a member of a group of birds known as the Corvids.  Other corvids include the crows, magpies and jays.  Corvids are highly intelligent.  Crows and ravens are known to have excellent memories, the ability to reason and can use tools.

The American Crow and the Common Raven look very much alike at first glance - large and black.  The raven is much larger and has a heavier bill along with a call that sounds more like a croak than caw. In flight the raven has a wedge-shaped tail while the tail of the crow is more squared off.  

Common Crow and American Raven

Common Crow and American Raven

Above - American Crow on the left and Common Raven on the right.  Ravens have a more wedge-shaped tail than crows but as these photos show, the difference can be hard to see depending on how the tail is being held at a specific time.  Note the heavier bill of the raven.

Call of the Common Crow
Call of the Common Raven

For additional information:
American Crow
Common Raven
Chihuahuan Raven - Not found in New York

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Bits and Pieces - Take a Bird Break II

Too Cute!

Here's another break from the cold weather.  

Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities or man-made boxes.   When the young Wood Ducks leave the nest they bail out from locations as high as fifty feet.  The light, fluffy baby birds bounce a couple of times and head after the mommy duck.

wood duck family

Wood Duck family.

Quick Hits

Everyone enjoys pictures of beautiful birds.  We selected 200 images of 50 of America's most beautiful birds to share in our Beautiful Birds app.  Visit the web site for the details.

Learn about the Downy Woodpecker.
downy woodpecker

Frequently Asked Questions

What's an accipiter?

An accipiter is a type of hawk defined by short, rounded wings and a long narrow tail. There are three accipiter species in North America.

coopers2Accipiters feed on other birds. Their short wings allow them to fly rapidly through trees and undergrowth while the long tail provides balance.

Bird identification

Learning to identify the birds you see is a fun and rewarding experience.  If you are a novice at identifying birds we have several options for you.

50 common New York birdsNifty Fifty Guides:  Our Nifty Fifty Guide to the Birds of New York is available on-line and in print.   It contains 25 common backyard birds and 25 additional common birds found in New York.  Purchase the print version.

The online version is shown below. Click on a corner to turn the page. has multiple resources for identifying a bird you have seen as well as information on improving your identification skills.   You can also send us an image on the web site and we will try to identify it for you.