Animals / Birds

Hooded crow


Серая ворона (ру.)

Graue Krähe (de.)

Corneja gris (es.).


Order — Passeriformes.

Family — Corvidae.

Genus — Corvus.

Species — Corvus cornix.


The hooded crow breeds in northern and eastern Europe, and closely allied forms inhabit southern Europe and western Asia. Where its range overlaps with carrion crow, as in northern Britain, Germany, Denmark, northern Italy, and Siberia, their hybrids are fertile. However, the hybrids are less well-adapted than purebred birds, and this is one of the reasons this species was split from the carrion crow. Little or no interbreeding occurs in some areas, such as Iran and central Russia.

Внешний вид

Length: 19-20 in (48-52 cm).

Wingspan: 39 in (98 cm).

Weight: 18 oz (510 g).

Head, throat, wings, tail, and thigh feathers are black and mostly glossy.

Plumage is ash-grey, the dark shafts giving it a streaky appearance. Only one moult occurs, in autumn, as in other crow species.

Bill and legs are black.

Iris is dark brown.

The male is the larger bird, otherwise the sexes are alike. Their flight is slow and heavy and usually straight. When first hatched, the young are much blacker than the parents.

Juveniles have duller plumage with bluish or greyish eyes and initially a red mouth.

The hooded crow, with its contrasted greys and blacks, cannot be confused with either the carrion crow or rook, but the kraa call notes of the two are almost indistinguishable.


Although they take an incredibly wide range of foods, Hooded Crows have distinct carnivorous leanings. Rodents, carrion, eggs and insects form a large part of the natural diet.

Crow owners have had success with diets based on cat and dog foods, but I prefer a diet similar to that I’ve used for many crows, magpies and jays in zoos. Commercial bird-of-prey diet, into which I mix pigeon pellets and softbill food, provides the bulk of their food intake. I believe that whole mice or chicks and insects are essential in assuring proper calcium intake and long term health.

Tossing a handful of crickets or other insects into your crow’s aviary is a wonderful way to keep the bird occupied. Canned grasshoppers, snails and other invertebrates can be used to provide critical dietary variety. A wide range of vegetables, chopped nuts, and fruits (in moderate amounts) should also be provided. Hard-boiled eggs are an especially favored treat.

The Hooded Crow’s natural diet contains a good number of whole animals, and is likely calcium-rich. In addition to pink or adult mice, pets should receive calcium and vitamin/mineral supplements. Natural sunlight and full spectrum bulbs should also be provided.


Pet crows give their owners names. This is identified by a unique sound they make around specific people that they would not otherwise make.

Female Crows mate for life, but males will cheat, as male crows have no penis. Their sperm is transferred from their cloaca to the female cloaca and copulation only lasts 15 seconds. Its a wonder the females are so loyal!


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


Although generally described as “stick nests”, those constructed by the Hooded Crow are actually very complex structures. The foundation is usually of short, stout sticks, but animal bones may be incorporated – in some areas, this habit has given rise to some odd superstitions, as can be imagined! Several distinct layers are placed over the foundation, with moss, grasses and roots used as binding materials. The inner cup-like area is lined with feathers, fur, wool and/or discarded rags and the like.

The eggs, numbering 2-7, hatch in 18-20 days, and the chicks fledge at 4-5 weeks of age.

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