In North America, fish crows are most commonly found in the southeastern United States. They are most common in coastal areas and less so inland, where they are typically found along river systems and near large bodies of water. In appearance they are so similar to the widespread and abundant American crow that they can only be reliably identified by voice. Fish crows are generalists, foraging in almost all habitats and eating everything from garbage to small animals, seeds, and fruits. They nest in trees most of the time and are quiet and hard to find during the breeding season.
Most calls have a more nasal quality than those of American crows and the most distinctive vocalization, given year around, is a double noted caw caw. Fish crow adults and young will occasionally give a single noted caw that is also nasal, but that note is matched by one given by young American crows.