By Ashley Peele
For any and every checklist submitted to eBird, care should be taken to accurately identify or distinguish among species. This can be tricky when several very similar species occur in the same locations. For example, American Crow, Fish Crow, and Common Raven all occur in Virginia. Now, it is unlikely you’ll run into all 3 unless you are birding in western Virginia. However, it is crucial to know how to distinguish between the 3.
Check out this article posted by the eBird team, which provides helpful hints for identifying crows and ravens.
Note! Important to be aware of ways in which species behaviors can be misconstrued when looking for breeding evidence. For example, vocalizations should never be used to assess breeding status in crows or ravens. You’ll never have a singing male (S) crow or raven!
See the atlas handbook (page 24) for more tips on avoiding misuse of breeding codes.