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Need help ID'ing Hostess Cupcake crow/raven sp. sighted in San Diego CA on 10/9/21 (1 Viewer)

ElleJaySD

Member
United States
Anybody know what corvid species this bird is with thick white base feathers that looks like a Hostess Cupcake? I can't find any photos of any crows or ravens besides White-necked Crows (which are from Caribbean) and Chihuahuan Ravens (which have not been sighted west as Arizona that I can find) and one photo somebody posted of a Clarion raven (no longer recognized as a subspecies) that have such white base feathers like my Hostess Cupcake bird had. It was perched on a speaker tower at an outdoor concert hall on the San Diego Bay. It was also making really weird clicking sounds when I first saw it, and that's actually what drew my attention to it's presence.
 

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Butty

Well-known member
Chihuahuan raven seems to be well out of court, and it's not a regular raven (unless maybe a juvenile with a weedy bill - did you see its tail-shape in flight or hear any regular-raven noises?), so it must be American crow - and I've no idea what colour their feather-bases are normally - but it would be a great disappointment if that Chihuahuan raven feature turned out to be useless in telling those two species apart.
Corvids make all sorts of weird noises when they're in the mood, so there's probably not much to be read into the clicking etc.
 

ElleJaySD

Member
United States
Chihuahuan raven seems to be well out of court, and it's not a regular raven (unless maybe a juvenile with a weedy bill - did you see its tail-shape in flight or hear any regular-raven noises?), so it must be American crow - and I've no idea what colour their feather-bases are normally - but it would be a great disappointment if that Chihuahuan raven feature turned out to be useless in telling those two species apart.
Corvids make all sorts of weird noises when they're in the mood, so there's probably not much to be read into the clicking etc.
Thanks for you reply! And yea, I feel like they like to withold some of their best crow/raven determinative character traits from me on purpose, and no I didn't get to see it's tail shape in flight. He/she just hung out on the speaker tower the whole time clicking down at the promenade, actually think it was making it at a seagull that was hoovering nearby. It seemed like another black bird came later and I think it made crow sounding caws that landed on some chairs in the outdoor concert hall. Not sure if they're were together, i.e., friends, family, etc. but that one sounded like a crow, but wasn't super high pitched, just loud and raspy, not gronky. And for that one that landed on some chairs, it bounced/twitched when it landed but it's tail shape could have been slightly wedged, but it's hard to tell when they're not up in sky and landing. But yea, the beak is too pointy for raven in my opinion although big, so unless it's just a juvenile with it's beak still growing, I think it's probably a crow with unusual white undercoat but just curious for another opinion since it's base coat feathers are so unusually white. And San Diego really isn't too far from the Chihuahuan raven's farthest western range but supposedly they like their habitats and never seen out here so not sure why they'd suddenly be seen here now. However, crows didn't used to live in San Diego until expanding their range sometime around the mid 1980s, so I figured, never know.
 

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