For some reason, I have had a hard time getting a good photograph of an American Crow. Part of the reason why is that it’s notoriously difficult to distinguish them from Fish Crows if they’re not calling.
In fact, it’s pretty much impossible. So I have to see the bird call to know which species I’m photographing. Well this one cooperated. I wish it had found a perch instead of walking on a mown lawn, but I’ll take it.
Sometime ago I actually found out that there’s one good field mark for telling the two species apart, though the field mark almost completely useless. Fish Crows generally raise their throat feathers while calling, while American Crows do not.
Of course, if you’re there to watch this happen, you’re also likely hearing the bird call, and you can identify it by call instead of by this field mark. So the field mark is pretty much useless unless you’re trying to identify a photo of a calling crow.