A Northwestern Crow is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Northwestern Crows. We have also put together a list of fun Northwestern Crow t-shirts, Northwestern Crow bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Northwestern Crows
The Northwestern Crow is a bird native to Northwest America. It is similar in looks to the more common American crow but with a slightly smaller build.
Description and Identification
These crows are nearly identical to American Crows but are slightly smaller in size. They are
roughly 16.5 – 17.5 inches in length with a long, thick bill, and a long tail. Their large, broad
wings have a wingspan of 30.3 inches. They can also be distinguished from American Crows
by their relatively smaller wing chords and tail length, and their smaller bills. The plumage
is entirely black with a bluish-violet sheen in good light.
Northwestern Crow Size
Length: 33 to 41 cm
The male and female are of the same size.
Northwestern Crow Appearance
It has an all-black appearance with silvery-black plumage. It lacks the white “collar” of the common crow, which gives it a unique look. The male and female are similar in appearance.
The juvenile birds appear similar to the adults but have feathers that appear uneven and ruffled all around, especially around the necks and underside.
Northwestern Crow Feeding
These crows are omnivorous and have a versatile diet. They eat invertebrates, small
vertebrates, eggs, nestlings, carrion, fruit, seeds, and garbage. They collect food primarily by
foraging on the ground, either in a flock or individually; sometimes they may hunt by sight as
well. Unique for a crow species, these birds may wade into the water in order to catch marine
invertebrates like crabs, clams, whelks, sea urchins, and sand dollars. Marine vertebrates
like blennies, gunnels, and pricklebacks trapped in tidepools also attract their attention.
These crows are opportunistic feeders and actively investigate for their prey in water, mud,
and soil, sometimes flicking over rocks and seaweed. They also steal food from other birds,
especially seagulls. They have been recorded to consume the eggs and the nestlings of over
a dozen bird species. Other popular prey items include amphibians, small snakes,
songbirds, and flying insects. During the summers, they consume more plant material like
blackberries, red elderberries, salmonberries, and Saskatoon berries. Like many other
crows, they also visit landfills, garbage cans, and picnic sites where human litter is scattered.
Finally, these birds are also scavengers; they can be seen scavenging roadkill, beached
carcasses of whales or seals, or be seen perching near predators that make a kill.
In similarity to other crows, the Northwestern Crow is carnivorous. It feeds on fish, shellfish, crabs, mussels, insects, and some other invertebrates. From time to time, the crows eat fruits to supplement their vitamin requirements. It also eats eggs and other birds’ hatchlings.
Northwestern Crow Habitat
Northwestern Crows inhabit the coastal areas near the intertidal zone, usually by bays or
river mouths, along beaches, on islands, or at landfills. These birds are permanent residents
of these coastal areas and typically forage in tidepools, on mudflats, in seabird colonies, and
in residential or agricultural environments that have been modified by human beings. They tend
to stay away from dense forests but have been observed living in forest edges. Birds that
breed in offshore islands generally migrate towards the mainland during winters.
The species of crows can be found in southern Alaska, British Colombia, and Washington State. It mainly inhabits coastal regions and in Alaska, can be found on the offshore islands in the region.
Range and Migration
Northwestern Crows are passerine birds that are a subspecies of American Crows. Their
range is limited to the Pacific Northwest coast, stretching from southern Alaska to British
Columbia and Washington. These birds are quick to adapt and can often be seen in urban
areas due to their utilization of human litter as a source of food. These birds are non-
migratory and are typically residents of their breeding range throughout the year, but some
island-nesting populations may move towards the mainland during the winters.
Northwestern Crow Life and Behavior
They are primarily solitary birds, but may at times live together in colonies, especially where there are many predators. Some of their predators include cats, raccoons, and raptors. At times the crows gang up on their predators, especially to protect their young.
The Northwestern Crows have a typical crow nest that holds 4 to 5 eggs per mating season. The females generally raise the hatchlings on their own.
They communicate by a sound that is described as “a cork coming out of a bottle” and is high pitched. When in flight, individuals that lag behind the group produce a “wok-wok-wok” sound that alerts the other to slow down. They also produce clicks and rattles, that each has their own meanings.
Northwestern Crow Nesting
Sites are selected by both males and females at a concealed spot in a tree, shrub, or berry
tangle. Sometimes it is also placed on the ground against a tree or set in grasses. The
construction of the nest is done by the females, where they make a foundation about a foot
long using branches. The interior is then lined with grass, moss, bark, leaves, feathers, and
wool. The resulting nest is typically a foot across and 9 inches tall, with the interior cup
around 6 inches across and 4 inches deep.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Northwestern Crows
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Northwestern Crows are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Northwestern Crow T-shirts
If you love the Northwestern Crow you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Northwestern Crow Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Northwestern Crow is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Northwestern Crow Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Northwestern Crow. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Northwestern Crow
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Northwestern Crow
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.