Distinguishing Different Birds
Name: Donna W.
How do you differentiate between the young of the crow, starling, and blackbird?
This is an excellent reference:
A Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds by Colin J. O. Harrison,
Paul J. Baicich
Once the birds are off the nest they resemble their parents enough to be
distinguishable, a good field guide to the birds such as Peterson or Sibley, widely
available in libraries and bookstores, should be adequate. There are several species
of blackbirds, whose young may be difficult to tell apart. Nestling starlings have
very prominent yellow bills, but their bills turn dark once they are off the nest, and
then turn back to yellow when they become adults. Crows are much larger than blackbirds
Actually this question is not that difficult to address, if we were set up to show pictures.
Basically, the beaks are the most important differentiation factor between these species.
Examine any bird book to see the differences. WELL, except for the blackbird for there is no
such species! There are numerous blackbird species and species that are not blackbirds that
non-ornithological people classify as blackbirds. No one can help you here!
Starling young are mostly brown, not black, and while crow pre-fledglings are black and much
larger. Crows are far superior in intelligence as well and their nests are a challenge to find.
I hope I have helped you.
Click here to return to the Zoology Archives
Update: June 2012