Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)


French: Corneille de rivage German: Fischkrähe Spanish: Cuervo pescador

Corvus ossifragus

A. Wilson

, 1812,

Great Egg Harbor [= Beasley’s Point, New Jersey], USA


Forms a clade with C. sinaloae and C. imparatus, based on genetic analysis#R. Monotypic.


E & SE coastal reaches of USA from coastal Maine S throughout Florida, W across Louisiana border into E Texas, in W extending N along major rivers into Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Descriptive notes

36–41 cm; male 260–332 g, female 195–304 g. A small crow with proportionately rather long tail. Plumage is all black with bluish-violet and green gloss on... read more


Relatively little known; repertoire of nine calls is limited compared with C. brachyrhynchos... read more


Usually found close to water in coastal or riverine settings; exploits human settlements and, to... read more

Food and feeding

Eats variety of natural and anthropogenic foods, including carrion, crabs (Decapoda) and marine invertebrates, earthworms (Lumbricidae),... read more


Nest-building from late Mar to early Jun throughout range (1–2 months later than C. brachyrhynchos where sympatric) and egg-... read more


Extent of migratory behaviour poorly studied. Some may migrate from C or N portions of range to S... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common; most abundant in Florida; currently expanding N & W. Exploits human settlements and to lesser extent agriculture. Range-... read more

Recommended citation

Marzluff, J. (2020). Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 January 2020).