Animals / Birds

Carrion crow


Черная ворона (ру.)

Rabenkrähe (de.)

Corneja negra (es.)


Order — Passeriformes.

Family — Corvidae.

Genus — Corvus.

Species — Corvus corone.


This species breeds in western and central Europe, with an allied form or race 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.

Внешний вид

Length: 45-47 cm (18-19").

Wingspan: 93-104 cm (37-42").

Weight: 370-650 g (¾-1½).

Plumage of Carrion Crow is black with a green or purple sheen.

Legs and feet are black.

Head is flat topped.

Bill is thick heavy curved and black.

Wings and tail are squre.

Body is glossy black.

Feathers on the underside are tight smooth.


The rook is generally gregarious and 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 has a high-pitched kaaa, but the crow's guttural, slightly vibrant, deeper croaked kraa is distinct from any note of the rook.

The carrion crow is noisy, perching on the top of a tree and 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.

Like all corvids, carrion crows are highly intelligent, and are among the most intelligent of all animals.


Though an eater of carrion of all kinds, the carrion crow will eat insects, earthworms, grain, small mammals, amphibians, scraps and will also steal eggs. Crows are scavengers by nature, which is why they tend to frequent sites inhabited by humans in order to feed on their household waste. Crows will also harass birds of prey or even foxes for their kills. Crows actively hunt and occasionally co-operate with other crows to make kills.

Crows have become highly skilled at adapting to urban environments. In a Japanese city, carrion crows have discovered how to eat nuts that they usually find too hard to tackle. One method is to drop the nuts from height on to a hard road in the hope of cracking it. Some nuts are particularly tough, so the crows drop the nuts among the traffic. That leaves the problem of eating the bits without getting run over, so some birds wait by pedestrian crossings and collect the cracked nuts when the lights turn red.


Salmonella, Trichomoniasis, Aspergillosis, Avian pox, Mites and Lice, Lyme Disease.


The bulky stick nest normally placed in a tall tree, but cliff ledges, old buildings and pylons may be used. Nests are occasionally placed on or near the ground. The nest resembles that of the Common Raven, but is less bulky. The four to six brown-speckled blue or eggs are incubated for 17-19 days by the female alone, who is fed by the male. The young fledge after 32-36 days.

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.

Authentication required

You must log in to post a comment.

Log in
There are no comments yet.