Photo by Jay and Kevin McGowan
Highly intelligent, extremely social, sometimes maligned, and frequently misunderstood, the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is also one of the most common and widespread birds of North America. Studies have documented some startling similarities to human social behavior, including mutual grooming (called "allopreening"), as demonstrated by the adult and hatching year bird on the cover. Crows have been hard hit by the West Nile virus; ongoing studies, including many utilizing Christmas Bird Count data, help to document and understand the magnitude of the virus' impact.
The 103rd CBC was another record count--see all the details in American Birds. Hard work on the part of Compilers and Participants allowed rapid analyses of this season's data to help document the effects of the West Nile virus on bird populations.
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