If you were unable to read this post around 8:19 p.m., please accept my apologies as I pulled it to make an update(see highlighted in yellow), compliments of Angus Wilson who was kind enough to share some additional thoughts on this bird. Updated @ 8:23 p.m.
The debate will continue for some time on this one, but whatever the outcome, this is one cool looking bird and I got to see and photograph it. A Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), is being seen around Crookes Point in Great Kills Staten Island. If the place sounds familiar, it is near the area where a White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) was also reported earlier in the year, a bird that I tried for and missed on 3 occasions.
According to veteran birder, Angus Wilson, who also happens to be the Chairperson of NYSARC (The New York State Avian Records Committee) "Hooded Crow, species is not really much of a migrant, except for cold weather movements from the northern parts of its range (Finland and Russia) into the Low-Countries and southern Scandinavia." Angus adds, "there are actually a fair number of records from Iceland (in excess of 80) and at least two from Greenland, neither of which are considered part of the 'normal' range. So there is at least some precedent for this species to wander in our general direction." Angus' comments are very encouraging to keep an open mind and not write this bird off as someone's pet. It will be quite the discussion on whether this will be accepted as a possible ship borne bird or chalked up as an escapee from a collector. Here are a couple of photos from today.
Tags: Hooded Crow, Crookes Point Great Kills Staten Island