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Tutt Library Research Guides

Birding Colorado Springs: Corvids

Birds commonly seen in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.

Corvids

The Corvid family includes crows, ravens, jays, and magpies. They are intelligent, social birds with omnivorous diets.

Common Raven

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rick_leche/2039887838/sizes/l/
Author:  Rick Leche. Creative  Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Song (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Larger than American Crow, with larger beak and wedge-shaped tail
  • Acrobatic flier; superior in flight to American Crows and Red-tailed Hawks, with which it often contests
  • Call is a throaty croak, more resonant than the caw of a crow
  • Male is larger than female. Frequently seen in pairs; they often display affection by touching each others' beaks.
  • Usually displays confident stance, in contrast to American Crow which often shows nervous, twitchy body language

Blue Jay

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_Jay_with_Peanut.jpg
Author:  Saforrest. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Tends to be at mid-level of vegetation; blue and white plumage of this medium-sized songbird may be obscured by leaves
  • Loud, harsh call is the easiest way to identify
  • Sometimes imitates Red-tailed Hawk
  • Will come to feeders

Steller's Jay

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stellers_jay_-_natures_pics.jpg
Author: Alan D. Wilson, www.naturespicsonline.com. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Large jay with crest and harsh call
  • Dark blue and black plumage is breathtaking when viewed in full sunlight
  • Prefers forested habitat near open areas
  • Will take peanuts from feeders

American Crow

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpmckenna/3177645376/sizes/m/
Author: J. P. McKenna.  Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Larger than other commonly-seen songbirds
  • Most common vocalization is the “caw”; but crows make a variety of sounds including a low rattle. Immature birds make a higher-pitched caw
  • Motion of wings in flight resemble swimming
  • Often seen in small family groups much of the year; may congregate in large flocks ("murders") in winter.

Black-billed Magpie

http://www.flickr.com/photos/theilr/8635617595/
Author:  theilr. Creative  Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Announces its presence with raucous calls
  • Largish songbird is easily identified by long tail and white wing patches
  • Greenish blue on wingtips and green on tail may not be visible except in direct sunlight

Western Scrub-jay

https://www.flickr.com/photos/livenature/10764672436/in/photostream/
Author: Franco Folini. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Western Scrub-jays are dvidied into coastal and interior populations. Interior birds tend to be somewhat shy and wary of humans
  • Often skulks on ground, or stays low in vegetation
  • Scrub jays are extremely intelligent, posessing mental abilities once thought the exclusive domain of humans.

Clark's Nutcracker

http://www.flickr.com/photos/voght/2970139892/
Author: Steve Voght, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Medium-sized gray bird with black wings and beak, and white edging on wings and tail.
  • Not generally seen in Colorado Springs proper, but in wilder higher altitude areas such as Aiken Canyon and Pikes Peak's North Slope
  • Known for stealing food from human campsites and lumberjack colonies
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