Barn Owl
Blackbird
Blackcap
Black-headed Gull
Black Redstart
Blue Tit
Brambling
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Coal Tit
Collared Dove
Common Gull
Coot
Crested Tit
Crossbill
Cuckoo
Dunnock
Feral Pigeon
Fieldfare
Garden Warbler
Goldcrest
Goldfinch
Goshawk
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit
Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker
Grey Heron
Grey Partridge
Grey Wagtail
Hawfinch
Herring Gull
Hoopoe
House Martin
House Sparrow
Jackdaw
Jay
Kestrel
Kingfisher
Lapwing
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Whitethroat
Linnet
Little Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-tailed Tit
Magpie
Mallard
Marsh Tit
Meadow Pipit
Mistle Thrush
Moorhen
Nightingale
Nuthatch
Peregrine
Pheasant
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Wagtail
Quail
Raven
Red Kite
Red-legged Partridge
Redpoll
Redstart
Redwing
Reed Bunting
Ring-necked Parakeet
Robin
Rook
Sand Martin
Serin
Short-eared Owl
Siskin
Skylark
Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk
Spotted Flycatcher
Starling
Stock Dove
Stonechat
Swallow
Swift
Tawny Owl
Treecreeper
Tree Sparrow
Turtle Dove
Waxwing
Whinchat
Whitethroat
Willow Tit
Willow Warbler
Wood Pigeon
Wren
Yellow Wagtail
Yellowhammer

British Garden Birds Logo Home page. Bird identification guide. Site map. Discussion board. Articles on birds and birdwatching. Having problems? Search this website. Photograph album. Guestbook for your comments. News about the birds in my garden. Contact us. Test your identification skills. About this website. Field trip reports. Links to other websites. Awards won by this website. British Garden Birds Navigation Map

Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow Carrion Crow Both Sexes
Jet black plumage.
Distribution map - when and where you are most likely to see the species.
Corvus corone
Length: 45-47 cm  (18-19")
Wing Span: 93-104 cm  (37-42")
Weight: 370-650 g  (¾-1½)  
Breeding Pairs: 800 000
Present: All Year
Status: Green

Description

The Carrion Crow is a black crow, about the same size as a Rook, but unlike the Rook, the Carrion Crow has neatly feathered thighs, and feathers around the base of the beak. While at first appearance its plumage is black, on closer inspection it has a green and purple iridescence.

Flight Silhouettes and Comparative Sizes

In flight, the Carrion Crow has a shorter head than the Rook, as well as having slower wing beats. The tail is squarer in the Carrion Crow, and the "fingers" at the wing tips are less splayed.

The Hooded Crow is the same species as the Carrion Crow but is a different race, which can be mostly found in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, though some wintering continental birds may be seen in eastern England. The Hooded Crow has a grey back and underparts and a black hood, wings and tail. The Hooded Crow is the main race in Ireland.

Juvenile Carrion Crows have duller, browner plumage and pale blue eyes; the adults have brown eyes.

Voice

Choose from Quicktime and mp3. Call
  Quicktime mp3

The Carrion Crow has many calls but the most common is "kraa-kraa-kraa".

Feeding

Carrion Crows have a diverse diet: worms, insects, fruit, seeds, kitchen scraps, eggs, and young birds.

Nesting

A Carrion Crow's nest is built in the fork of a tree, cliff edge or even electricity pylon and is a large construction of twigs lined with hair and bark. It is built by both birds.

The duties of incubating the eggs are performed by the female. The eggs are about 43 mm by 30 mm, smooth and glossy, pale bluish-green with dark brown and grey markings. Both adults feed the young birds.

The two races inter-breed, resulting in Carrion x Hooded hybrids.

Breeding Data
Breeding Starts Number of Clutches Number of Eggs Incubation (days) Fledge (days)
April 1 4-7 18-20 28-35

Movements

British and Irish Carrion Crows (and Hooded Crows) are quite sedentary, never venturing far from their nests. In the winter, our population may be joined by continental birds of both races.

Conservation

Both crows are thriving and are considered by some to be pests, particularly by gamekeepers, as they take the eggs and chicks of game birds.

My Garden

Graph of garden visits.

Carrion Crows are often in the neighbourhood, though they usually confine themselves to the TV aerials and chimney pots.

In the last week of May 1999 a Carrion Crow caught a young Magpie, and while perched on a neighbour's TV aerial proceeded to tear at the feathers and flesh of its writhing prey. Not a pleasant sight.

During 2001, the Carrion Crows - though it could be just one individual - took to dive-bombing Wood Pigeons and Magpies feeding in our garden. In November of the same year, an immature bird spent several minutes sitting on and drinking from the water bath.


Last revision: 21 Feb 2015
Copyright © David Gains 1999-2017.
Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites