Corvus caurinus:NorthWestern Crow, Race Rocks Taxonomy

The Norhwestern Crow closely resembles the American crow being black noisy and having forward facing bristles above its nostrils. The nw crow is smaller in size and has a shorter lower caw. It also has a smaller bill, smaller wings and has a greater wing beat rate.They usually inhabit coastal areas such as Race Rocks and are not thought to be birds which migrate. The crow usually forages for food near coast lines and its diet may include dead fish, crab, mussels or clams. In most regions its nest may be located at high elevations or in the branches of Conifer trees. Here at Race Rocks, the closest suitable nesting sites are on Bentinck Island.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae
Genus Corvus
Species caurinus
Common Name: NorthWestern Crow
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Original text by Lawson Connor, PC student Dec. 2002

Census Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  20-15 NW
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A few ecotours today

Ecological

  • 11 elephant seals scattered around today, mostly around the jetty to cool off in the water

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions: 33
  • California Sea Lions: 23
  • Elephant Seals: 11
  • Harbour Seals: 161
  • Unspecified Gulls: 212
  • Pigeon Guillemots: 53
  • Cormorants: 12
  • Canada Geese: 19
  • Oystercatchers: 8
  • Harlequinn Ducks: 0
  • Crows: 1

Notes

  • The harbour seal numbers have significantly increased but all of the other numbers seem to have gone down
  • The little elephant seal is back, I haven’t seen her for a few days

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-30 knots West all day
  • Sky: mostly clear.
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Saw a Steller sea lion branded 365Y.
  • Saw a California sea lion branded U949
  • I’m pretty sure the high winds were responsible for some of the lower bird counts.
  1. Harbour Seals: 114
  2. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 65
  3. California Sea Lions: 63
  4. Elephant Seals: 11 (8 on Great Race, 3 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 251
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 68
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 22
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 16
  10. Surfbirds: 5
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 5 (2 males and 3 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 4
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 4
  14. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)
  15. Crows: 2

Other

  • I spent a good portion of the day ill in bed.

Crows & Eggs

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm
  • For a couple of hours in the afternoon, wind 15-20 knots West, and some rain.

Ecological

  • Two crows pecked about in an abandoned goose nest.
  • Quite a good day for birding!
  • Three elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • At least three eco-tours came by today.

Saturday

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North West
  • Sky: clear and sunny all day
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Two e-seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.
  • Did some goose work.

Boats

  • A few boats wandered by.
  • The Mahimahi, a US container ship departed from Seattle, was especially noisy as it passed by.

The Return of Otter

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North East, then from 15:00 onwards 15-25 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • This morning at about 7:00 I spied the Otter wandering along the wooden deck.
  • Later in the early evening I spied him again and got two photos!
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion: X[?]60
  • Watched fascinated as two crows boldly flew up to two eagles and scampered about next to them!
  • Saw some seagulls muck about in a goose nest. I think they were eating the eggs.
  1. Harbour Seals: 70
  2. California Sea Lions: 70
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 53
  4. Elephant Seals: 9 (2 on Great Race, 7 on Middle Rock)
  5. River Otter: 1
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 172
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 138
  8. Surfbirds: 88
  9. Cormorants unspecified: 49 (all on Middle Rocks)
  10. Canada Geese: 19
  11. Black Turnstones: 14
  12. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  13. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  14. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)
  15. Savannah Sparrow: 2
  16. Crows: 2

Maintenance

  • Lots of intense goose work.
  • Pumped one 55 gallon barrel of diesel into the tidy tank.

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by, as well as pleasure craft.
  • In the late morning, several kayakers entered the reserve.
  • Most of them stayed over by the North Rocks, but a few wandered down to South Rocks.
  • Some of them had difficulty dealing with the strong ebb tidal current, and had to renegotiate their route to rejoin the others.
  • Stay safe out there!

Crows and Moon

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind at 7:00: 10-15 knots West
  • Wind at 10:00: 10-15 knots North East
  • Wind at 15:00: 5-10 knots South West
  • Wind at 20:00: 20-25 knots West
  • Sky: mostly clear, rain at 15:00
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • A rather large moon appeared in the early evening.

Ecological

  • One adult elephant seal departed, leaving just the one.
  • The weaner returned by the slightly unconventional route: north side of the jetty.
  • A murder of crows.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

Other

  • Some DND blasting today.
  • Blasts at 13:37, 13:39, and 14:15.

Jellyfish and Crow

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind in the morning: 10-15 knots North East
  • Wind in the evening: 20-25 knots East
  • Sky: mix of clear and clouds
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The weaner was gone today, so just the 2 e-seals on Great Race.
  • A couple of adult bald eagles were around today.
  • One crow was poking about the island.
  • I saw a bunch of tiny jellyfish in the water beside the jetty.
  • It was impossible to get a good photo of them though.
  • Perhaps they were Mitrocoma cellularia?

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

The Seals Touch Down

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE, later 0-10 NE
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • In the morning there were 2 e-seals on Great Race, and 6 on Middle Rock.
  • In the afternoon there were 3 e-seals on Great Race, and 4 on Middle Rock.
  • As far as I am aware, there were only 2 e-seals in the reserve yesterday.
  • Most of the addled eggs in the Canada goose nest near the Students’ House were cracked open and strewn about today around noon.
  • I suspect a crow to be the culprit, having seen one hanging around that nest yesterday.
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion, but I couldn’t make out all the marks. U89[?]
  • Four young bald eagles were unsuccessfully hunting the seagulls all morning.
  1. Harbour Seals: 92
  2. California Sea Lions: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 43
  4. Elephant Seals: 8 (2 on Great Race, 6 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 352
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 111
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 26
  8. Brandt’s Cormorants: 16
  9. Pelagic Cormorants: 12
  10. Double Crested Cormorant: 7
  11. Surfbirds: 50
  12. Black Turnstones: 30
  13. Canada Geese: 18
  14. Harlequin Ducks: 11 (6 males and 5 females)
  15. Rock Sandpipers: 6
  16. Bald Eagles: 6 (2 adults, 4 immature)
  17. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  18. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  19. Unidentified Hawk: 1
  20. Killdeer: 1
  21. Crow: 1?

Maintenance

  • Transferred diesel from the Students’ House tank into the Tidy Tank.
  • Some goose work.