Corvids, which are crows and jays, are classified by their harsh voices and their aggressive manner, both of which draw attention to themselves; large and often very gregarious birds. Most corvids have bristles on their nostrils, located on very powerful, all-purpose beaks built specially for handling their varied diet ( berries, fruits, seeds, invertebrates, small mammals and carrion). Here are most of the species that you may see in the Calgary region, the only one missing, is the colorful Steller’s Jay.
There is a large nighttime roost of hundreds of American Crows on Nose Hill again this year. Last week I took a short video as they were arriving at about 7:30 pm. The location is near the Brisebois Drive parking lot. Sorry for the poor quality of the video, but it gives you an idea of what it is like. If you want to see this roost yourself, go within the next two weeks before the crows head south.
Here is a video of three young crows at our birdbath, taken in July. This was shortly after they fledged, and it looks like it might have been the first time they ventured into the water. It’s interesting to compare their behavior to that of the juvenile Black-billed Magpie in the video in this post.