September 26, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

First Friday Oct. 1 in Leonardtown -

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Legislative Package Hearing Set Oct. 5 -

Thursday, September 23, 2021

COVID Test Site Opens at Hollywood VFD -

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thuot to Speak at Historical Society Meeting -

Thursday, September 16, 2021

From the Cap’n, Interesting Crow Facts

Message from the Cap’n is a compilation of fishing advice, waterman and weather insights, Chesapeake lore, and ordinary malarkey from the folks who keep their feet wet in the Potomac and St. Mary’s rivers.

The Cap’n

American Crows are all black, even the legs and bill, details All About Birds out of The Cornell Lab.

American Crows are very social, inquisitive, and sometimes mischievous. Crows are good learners and problem-solvers, often raiding garbage cans and picking over discarded food containers. They’re also aggressive and often chase away larger birds including hawks, owls, and herons.

American Crows are common birds of fields, open woodlands, and forests. They thrive around people, and you’ll often find them in agricultural fields, lawns, parking lots, athletic fields, roadsides, towns, and city garbage

West Nile virus hit American Crows particularly hard. Other interesting facts include:

  • American Crows congregate in large numbers in winter to sleep in communal roosts. Some roosts have been forming in the same general area for well over 100 years.
  • Young American Crows do not breed until they are at least 2 years old, and most do not breed until they are 4 or older. In most populations, the young help their parents raise young for a few years. Families may include up to 15 individual birds and contain young from five different years.
  • In some areas, the American Crow has a double life. It maintains a territory year-round in which the entire extended family lives and forages together. But during much of the year, individual crows leave the home territory to join large flocks at dumps and agricultural fields, and to sleep in large roosts in winter.
  • Despite its tendency to eat roadkill, the American Crow is not specialized to be a scavenger, and carrion is only a very small part of its diet. Though their bills are large, crows can’t break through the skin of even a gray squirrel. They must wait for something else to open a carcass or for the carcass to decompose and become tender enough to eat.
  • Crows are crafty foragers that sometimes follow adult birds to find where their nests are hidden. They sometimes steal food from other animals. A group of crows was seen distracting a river otter to steal its fish, and another group followed Common Mergansers to catch minnows the ducks were chasing into the shallows. They also sometimes follow songbirds as they arrive from a long migration flight and capture the exhausted birds. Crows also catch fish, eat from outdoor dog dishes, and take fruit from trees.
  • Crows sometimes make and use tools. Examples include a captive crow using a cup to carry water over to a bowl of dry mash; shaping a piece of wood and then sticking it into a hole in a fence post in search of food; and breaking off pieces of pine cone to drop on tree climbers near a nest.
  • The oldest recorded wild American Crow was about 16 years old. A captive crow in New York lived to be 59 years old.

Till next time, remember “It’s Our Bay, Let’s Pass It On.”

To learn about tours and trips into the Chesapeake, keep in touch with Fins + Claws on Facebook . Catch up on Messages from the Cap’n Member Page. Please visit Cap’n Jack’s lore and share with your social media sites. Or reach him here: arster694@gmail.com or 240-434-1385.

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