Bird Tracks: American Crow

Photo of American Crow tracks

A light layer of snow, while often fleeting, is a wonderful medium in which to find tracks, and a light and moist layer is even better for preserving crisp details.  I discovered the above meandering trails the morning after one such snowfall.

Photo of American Crow track

I measured several individual tracks and thought about the likely makers. Later, using Bird Tracks & Sign (Elbroch, 2001), I confirmed my hunch: these classic-shaped bird tracks (technically called anisodactyl), with three toes pointing forward and one toe pointing back, were made by Crows. Given the infrequency that I've been encountering Fish Crows lately, it's a safe bet that the makers were American Crows.

Photo of American Crow wing marks

Aside from foot tracks and trails, I found several wing and tail impressions in the snow where these birds landed or took flight. One might call these impressions “Crow Angels”.

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