AppearanceThis species' plumage is virtually identical to that of the American crow. Individuals may be distinguished by in-hand criteria such as smaller wing chord and tail length, shorter tarsus, and smaller bill. Identification percentages increase when sex of animal is known. Like the American crow, the sexes look the same. Older birds in breeding condition may be reliably sexed by in-hand criteria such as cloacal protuberance or by brood patch . Younger birds may not attain breeding condition as they assist at the nest.
DistributionThis species occurs in coastal regions and offshore islands of southern Alaska, south through British Columbia to Washington state. Beaches and shorelines are the principal forage areas. It can often be seen in and around urban areas.
HabitatThis species occurs in coastal regions and offshore islands of southern Alaska, south through British Columbia to Washington state. Beaches and shorelines are the principal forage areas. It can often be seen in and around urban areas.
FoodVery similar to that of the fish crow; the northwestern crow eats stranded fish, shellfish, crabs and mussels, and also searches through refuse containers for suitable food items. It has been seen to fly into the air with mussels and drop them onto hard surfaces to break them open. It also regularly eats insects, other invertebrates, and various fruits . It raids other birds' nests to eat eggs and hatchlings.
PredatorsAn incomplete list includes cats, raccoons, raptors and ravens. The crows often gather in large groups to mob these predators.
DefenseGenerally solitary, but sometimes built in association with a few other individuals in small, loose colonies in trees or sometimes large bushes. Very rarely, it will nest on cliffs in a recess or even on the ground in a remote area if overhung by a rock for shelter. It is a typical crow nest with 4-5 eggs usually laid.
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