I've noticed a couple of recent postings in which
people have reported unsuccessful searches for the House Crow on Phillip
Island over the weekend. This lack of success surprises me since it was quite
easy to find on Thursday and Friday of last week.
I'm wondering whether some description of the bird
might prove helpful, assuming it hasn't either flown to other parts of the
island or been disposed of.
The first noticeable thing is that it is a little
smaller than the Little Ravens it is associating with. When side by side this is
easy to pick.
The second fairly obvious feature is the shape of
the upper mandible which has more of a distinct "Roman Nose" curve to it
than the Little Ravens.
Least noticeable is the ( at first) barely
perceptible grey-brown mantle which is only obvious if a good view of the bird
is obtained from the side. In the Phillip Island bird this is darker than I
expected from illustrations in field guides ( Simpson & Day being much too
light ( sorry Nick), Slater much too grey, Morcombe not bad, but by far the
closest is Pizzey ). However, once the mantle is seen, the face is then in
fact quite black in contrast, and the eye is dark brown rather than the
conspicuous icey blue/white of the Little Raven.
So, don't expect to see a somewhat black and white
bird as shown in S&D ( 6th Ed) p285.
A casual look might easily miss the above features,
certainly at a distance.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Adelaide birding by 4WD
phone: 08 8337