Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix); Staten Island, NY, USA; 25 June 2011
A Hooded Crow was found at Great Kills Park on Staten Island, NY on June 20th. According to local joggers, the bird had been around for a couple weeks. This first-year bird shows no overt signs of captivity (no unusual wear, strange molt, nor any leg bands etc). There were 88 accepted records in Iceland as of 2006, with a significant number of those being spring records. I have also been told by a couple folks that there are two records from Greenland. The park is situated at a location that screams "ship-assisted," at the entrance to a major port area. The most likely scenario, IMO and in the opinion of many folks, is that this bird found itself aboard a ship in the Atlantic that carried it to NYC. Who knows how far it got by itself, but it seems quite unlikely that it reached Staten Island entirely on its own power.
There's sure to be plenty of debate on this one, regarding both its origin and its 'countability.' Either way, it was worth seeing. You know what they say...see the bird now and do the research later!
This morning (25 June 2011) I headed down to Staten Island with Phil Rusch and Roy Harvey to check it out. We observed the bird for a few minutes on the beach before it was flushed by a beachcombing vehicle. The light wasn't fantastic, but scope views were enjoyed by all.