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Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow

Scientific classification
Binomial name
Corvus corone

The Carrion Crow, Corvus corone, breeds in western and central Europe, and an allied form, race C. c. orientalis is found in eastern Asia.

The Carrion Crow can be distinguished from the Raven by its size and from the Hooded Crow by its black plumage, but there is frequent confusion between it and the Rook. The beak of the Crow is stouter and in consequence looks shorter, and whereas in the adult Rook the nostrils are bare, those of the Crow are covered at all ages with bristle-like feathers.

The plumage is black with a green or purple sheen, but the gloss is much greener than that of the Rook. The bill, legs and feet are also black.

The Rook is generally gregarious, the Crow solitary, but Rooks occasionally nest in isolated trees, and Crows may feed with rooks; moreover, Crows are often sociable in winter roosts. The most distinctive feature is the voice. The rook says caw, but the Crow calls pawk, pawk. The guttural, slightly vibrant croak is distinct from any note of the rook.

The bird is garrulous, loving to perch on the top of a tree, calling three or four times in quick succession, with a slight pause between each series of croaks. The wing-beats are slower, more deliberate than those of the rook.

Though an eater of carrion of all kinds, the Crow will kill and eat any small animal it can catch, and is an inveterate egg-robber. Crows are by nature, scavengers which is why they tend to frequent sites inhabited by humans in order to feed on their household waste.

On the cliffs, the Crow nests on ledges, but in inland localities is arboreal; the nest is similar to that of the raven, but less bulky. The eggs, four or five in number, are seldom laid before April; they are blotched and spotted with brown on a blue or green ground and vary considerably. Young birds are fledged and ready to fly the nest within only six or so weeks of hatching.

It is not uncommon for an offspring from the previous years to stay around and help rear the new hatchlings. It will not, itself, take a mate but will instead search for food and assit the parents with feeding the young.

The front bird is a Hooded crow, the rear bird is a Carrion Crow

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