Carrion Crow

From Academic Kids

Carrion Crow
Missing image
Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow
Scientific classification
Species:C. corone
Binomial name
Corvus corone
Linnaeus, 1758

The Carrion Crow, Corvus corone, can be distinguished from the Raven by its size (48–52 cm in length) 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.

Distribution map
Distribution map

This species breeds in western and central Europe, with an allied form or race C. c. orientalis (50-56 cm in length) occurring in eastern Asia. The separation of these two populations is now believed to have taken place during the last ice age, with the closely allied Hooded Crow (now given species status) filling the gap between. Fertile hybrids occur along the boundary between these two forms indicating their close genetic relationship.

The plumage of Carrion Crow 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.


Missing image
Carrion Crow (rear)

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 assist the parents with feeding the young.

Sound link

Carrion Crow call (

Photo image links

de:Aaskrhe eo:Korniko fr:Corneille noire nl:Zwarte kraai pl:Wrona ta:கரியன் காகம் zh:小嘴乌鸦


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