The One with The Crow & The Rain

I snapped the following series of images of this crow as it was sitting on the railing adjacent to the vehicle queue for getting onto the Seattle ferry over to Vashon Island. ** As always, click on the photo for an embiggened view. ** Just for fun, I’ve included a rough (very rough) facsimile of the accompanying dialogue between me and my husband…

“Roll your window down, hon.”
“Let me try and get a few shots past you, out your window.”
“We’re going to start moving any second now to get on the ferry!”
“I know, I know… so hurry up already!”

Crow + rain + the Seattle ferry

“Aren’t you a lovely bird? And posing so nicely for me too — thank you!  Boy, you look wet.”
“Hey… Speaking of wet… Me and the car are getting kind of soaked over here.”
“I know… sorry! Just a few more… and then you can roll it back up, I promise.”


Crow + rain + the Seattle ferry



“Are you getting anything decent?”
“Yup! These are pretty… The muted colors of the background and the water… the rain falling… the way light is hitting its black feathers. In fact, I’m really happy with these! Thanks for putting up with me, hon.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah… So, do you think it’s just an American Crow, or is this one actually a Northwestern Crow?”
“I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure out how to tell the difference exactly. I need to check the field guide again.”

Crow + rain + the Seattle ferry



“Oh, hey… Wow! It looks like it’s dancing in this shot!”
“Well, it’s doin’ something fancy with its feet…” *GRIN*

[NOTE: Differentiating between these two species of crow mostly involves geographic range and habitat, as well as some variation in call sounds. However, I gather that there is also a fair bit of hybridization between American and Northwestern Crows, which makes it all the more difficult to tell for certain which species you’re dealing with. I’m fairly certain that we must have seen at least a few Northwestern Crows (a new species for us) in the course of our more than week-long visit to Washington… just don’t ask me which ones they were exactly.]


Harsi / July 24, 2011 / birds, photography, travel, weather


  1. Ruth Gravanis - July 25, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Thank you, Ezra, for rolling down your window! These are wonderful shots. By coincidence(?), the PBS nature program “Murder of Crows” was shown on TV again last night. It talked about crows’ ability to solve problems and recognize faces, but not about their dancing skills. What a treat! Also the facial expression in the second one and the frilly feathers in the first. ‘Started my day with a smile.

  2. Harsi - July 25, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Yup! Total coincidence. I had no idea that nature program was on last night… though I am pretty sure I’ve seen the one you described many years ago. In my opinion, the natural dancing abilities of birds (and many other animals) is highly under reported by scientists. *GRIN* Glad I was able to capture a bit of photographic evidence for all those naysayers out there. So this crow’s winning attributes stole your heart too, eh Ruth? Good! Happy we succeeded in putting a smile on your face!


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