The carrion crow was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Corvus corone. The binomial name is derived from the Latin Corvus, "Raven", and Greek korone/κορωνη, "crow".
The hooded crow, formerly regarded as a subspecies, has been split off as a separate species, and there is some discussion whether the eastern carrion crow (C. c. orientalis) is distinct enough to warrant specific status; the two taxa are well separated, and it has been proposed they could have evolved independently in the wetter, maritime regions at the opposite ends of the Eurasian landmass.
Along with the hooded crow, the carrion crow occupies a similar ecological niche in Eurasia to the American crow (C. brachyrhyncos) in North America.
The plumage of the carrion crow is black with a green or purple sheen, much greener than the gloss of the rook. The bill, legs and feet are also black. It can be distinguished from the common raven by its size (48–52 cm or 19 to 20 inches in length as compared to an average of 63 centimetres (25 inches) for ravens) and from the hooded crow by its black plumage. The carrion crow has a wingspan of 84–100 cm or 33 to 39 inches and weighs 400–600 grams.
There is frequent confusion between the carrion crow and the rook, another black corvid found within its range. 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. As well as this, the wings of a carrion crow are proportionally shorter and broader than those of the rook when seen in flight.
The carrion crow (Corvus corone) and hooded crow (Corvus cornix, including its slightly larger allied form or race C. c. orientalis) are two very closely related species whose geographic distributions across Europe are illustrated in the accompanying diagram. It is believed that this distribution might have resulted from the glaciation cycles during the Pleistocene, which caused the parent population to split into isolates which subsequently re-expanded their ranges when the climate warmed causing secondary contact.
Poelstra and coworkers sequenced almost the entire genomes of both species in populations at varying distances from the contact zone to find that the two species were genetically identical, both in their DNA and in its expression (in the form of mRNA), except for the lack of expression of a small portion (<0.28%) of the genome (situated on avian chromosome 18) in the hooded crow, which imparts the lighter plumage colouration on its torso. Thus the two species can viably hybridize, and occasionally do so at the contact zone, but the all-black carrion crows on the one side of the contact zone mate almost exclusively with other all-black carrion crows, while the same occurs among the hooded crows on the other side of the contact zone.
It is therefore clear that it is only the outward appearance of the two species that inhibits hybridization. The authors attribute this to assortative mating (rather than to ecological selection), the advantage of which is not clear, and it would lead to the rapid appearance of streams of new lineages, and possibly even species, through mutual attraction between mutants. Unnikrishnan and Akhila propose, instead, that koinophilia is a more parsimonious explanation for the resistance to hybridization across the contact zone, despite the absence of physiological, anatomical or genetic barriers to such hybridization. The carrion crow is also found in the mountains and forests of Japan and also in the cities of Japan.
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 a vantage point such as a building or the top of a tree and calling three or four times in quick succession, with a slight pause between each series of croaks. During each series of calls, a crow may perform an accompanying gesture, bowing its head and neck downwards with each caw. The wing-beats are slower, more deliberate than those of the rook.
Carrion crows can become tame near humans, and can often be found near areas of human activity or habitation including cities, moors, woodland, sea cliffs and farmland where they compete with other social birds such as gulls and ducks for food in parks and gardens.
Like other species of corvid, carrion crows will actively harass predators and competitors that enter their territory or threaten them or their offspring, and will engage in group mobbing behaviour as a method to defend themselves.
Like all corvids, carrion crows show intelligent behaviour. For example, they can discriminate between numerosities up to 30, flexibily switch between rules and recognise human and crow faces. Given the difference in brain architecture in crows compared to primates, these abilities suggest that their intelligence is realised as a product of convergent evolution.
Though an eater of carrion of all kinds, the carrion crow will eat insects, earthworms, grain, fruits, seeds, 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, and are sometimes seen catching ducklings for food.
The bulky stick nest is usually placed in a tall tree, but cliff ledges, old buildings and pylons may be used as well. Nests are also occasionally placed on or near the ground. The nest resembles that of the common raven, but is less bulky. The 3 to 4 brown-speckled blue or greenish eggs are incubated for 18–20 days by the female alone, who is fed by the male. The young fledge after 29–30 days.
It is not uncommon for an offspring from the previous years to stay around and help rear the new hatchlings. Instead of seeking out a mate, it looks for food and assists the parents in feeding the young.
C. atro-caerulescens, cauda rotundata: rectricibus acutis.
The American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large passerine bird species of the family Corvidae. It is a common bird found throughout much of North America.
American crows are the New World counterpart to the carrion crow and the hooded crow. Although the American crow and the hooded crow are very similar in size, structure and behavior, their calls are different. The American crow, nevertheless, occupies the same role that the hooded crow does in Eurasia.
From beak to tail, an American crow measures 40–50 cm (16–20 in), almost half of which is tail. Mass varies from about 300 to 600 g (11 to 21 oz). Males tend to be larger than females.
The most usual call is CaaW!-CaaW!-CaaW!.
The American crow is all black, with iridescent feathers. It looks much like other all-black corvids. They can be distinguished from the common raven (C. corax) because American crows are smaller, from the fish crow (C. ossifragus) because American crows do not hunch and fluff their throat feathers when they call and from the carrion crow (C. corone) by the enunciation of their calls.
American crows are common, widespread, and susceptible to the West Nile virus, making them useful as a bioindicator to track the virus's spread. Direct transmission of the virus from American crows to humans is unheard of and unlikely.Battle of Bayou Bourbeux
The Battle of Bayou Bourbeux also known as the Battle of Grand Coteau, Battle of Boggy Creek or the Battle of Carrion Crow Bayou (Carencro is the Cajun French word for buzzard), which is present day Carencro Bayou, was fought in southwestern Louisiana west of the town of Grand Coteau, during the American Civil War.
The engagement was between the forces of Confederate Brigadier General Thomas Green and Union Brigadier General Stephen G. Burbridge.Brown-necked raven
The brown-necked raven (Corvus ruficollis) is a larger bird (52–56 cm in length) than the carrion crow though not as large as the common raven. It has similar proportions to the common raven but the bill is not so large or deep and the wings tend to be a little more pointed in profile. The head and throat are a distinct brownish-black giving the bird its English name, while the rest of the plumage is black glossed with purple, blue or purplish-blue. Like the Common raven, Thick-billed raven and White-necked raven, it is one of the larger raven species. The smaller raven species are the Australian raven, Forest raven, Little raven, Fan-tailed raven and Chihuahuan raven with the Thick-billed raven being the world's largest raven species and the Chihuahuan raven being the smallest. The feathers of this species often fade quite quickly to a brownish black (even the truly black feathers) and the bird can look distinctly brown by the time it moults. The feet, legs and bill are black. The dwarf raven was formerly considered a subspecies (Corvus ruficollis edithae) but this bird now appears to be closer to the pied crow (C. albus) than this species.Cape crow
The Cape crow or black crow (Corvus capensis) is slightly larger (48–50 cm in length) than the carrion crow and is completely black with a slight gloss of purple in its feathers. It has proportionately longer legs, wings and tail too and has a much longer, slimmer bill that seems to be adapted for probing into the ground for invertebrates. The head feathers have a coppery-purple gloss and the throat feathers are quite long and fluffed out in some calls and displays.Chihuahuan raven
The Chihuahuan raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) is a species of bird in the family Corvidae that is native to the United States and Mexico. It was formerly known as the American white-necked raven, and has the proportions of a common raven with a heavy bill, but is about the same size as a carrion crow, or slightly larger than the American crow (44–51 cm (17–20 in) long). The plumage is all-black with a rich purple-blue gloss in good light. Like the forest raven, little raven, fan-tailed raven and Australian raven, it is one of the smaller raven species. The larger species of raven are the common raven, thick-billed raven, white-necked raven and brown-necked raven, with the common and thick-billed ravens being the world's largest raven species and the little and fan-tailed ravens being the smallest. The Chihuahuan raven is very similar in appearance to the Australian raven, although with dark brown irises and whiter feather bases. The nasal bristles extend farther down the top of the bill than in any other Corvus species to about two-thirds the length. The base of the neck feathers are white-ish (seen only when ruffled in strong wind). The bill, legs and feet are black.Collared crow
The collared crow (Corvus torquatus), also known as the ring-necked crow or white-collared crow, is a member of the family Corvidae native to China and north of Vietnam.Crow
A crow is a bird of the genus Corvus, or more broadly a synonym for all of Corvus. The term "crow" is used as part of the common name of many species. Species with the word "crow" in their common name include:
Corvus albus – pied crow (Central African coasts to southern Africa)
Corvus bennetti – little crow (Australia)
Corvus brachyrhynchos – American crow (United States, southern Canada, northern Mexico)
Corvus capensis – Cape crow or Cape rook (Eastern and southern Africa)
Corvus caurinus – northwestern crow (Olympic peninsula to southwest Alaska)
Corvus cornix – hooded crow (Northern and Eastern Europe and Northern Africa)
Corvus corone – carrion crow (Europe and eastern Asia)
Corvus edithae – Somali crow (eastern Africa)
Corvus enca – slender-billed crow (Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia)
Corvus florensis – Flores crow (Flores Island)
Corvus fuscicapillus – brown-headed crow (New Guinea)
Corvus hawaiiensis (formerly C. tropicus) – Hawaiian crow (Hawaii)
Corvus imparatus – Tamaulipas crow (Gulf of Mexico coast)
Corvus insularis – Bismarck crow (Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea)
Corvus jamaicensis – Jamaican crow (Jamaica)
Corvus kubaryi – Mariana crow or aga (Guam, Rota)
Corvus leucognaphalus – white-necked crow (Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico)
Corvus macrorhynchos – jungle crow (Eastern Asia, Himalayas, Philippines)
Corvus macrorhynchos macrorhynchos – large-billed crow
Corvus macrorhynchos levaillantii – eastern jungle crow (India, Burma)
Corvus macrorhynchos culminatus – Indian jungle crow
Corvus meeki – Bougainville crow or Solomon Islands crow (Northern Solomon Islands)
Corvus moneduloides – New Caledonian crow (New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands)
Corvus nasicus – Cuban crow (Cuba, Isla de la Juventud, Grand Caicos Island)
Corvus orru – Torresian crow or Australian crow (Australia, New Guinea and nearby islands)
Corvus ossifragus – fish crow (Southeastern U.S. coast)
Corvus palmarum – palm crow (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic)
Corvus ruficolis edithae – Somali crow or dwarf raven (Northeast Africa)
Corvus sinaloae – Sinaloan crow (Pacific coast from Sonora to Colima)
Corvus splendens – house crow or Indian house crow (Indian subcontinent, Middle East, east Africa)
Corvus torquatus – collared crow (Eastern China, south into Vietnam)
Corvus tristis – grey crow or Bare-faced crow (New Guinea and neighboring islands)
Corvus typicus – piping crow or Celebes pied crow (Sulawesi, Muna, Butung)
Corvus unicolor – Banggai crow (Banggai Island)
Corvus validus – long-billed crow (Northern Moluccas)
Corvus violaceus – violet crow (Seram) – recent split from slender-billed crow
Corvus woodfordi – white-billed crow or Solomon Islands crow (Southern Solomon Islands)Cyanopica
Cyanopica is a genus of magpie in the family Corvidae. They belong to a common lineage with the genus Perisoreus.Daurian jackdaw
The Daurian jackdaw (Coloeus dauuricus) is a bird in the crow family, Corvidae. It is closely related to the western jackdaw. The name derives from the Dauria region of eastern Russia.Eastern carrion crow
The eastern carrion crow (Corvus corone orientalis, originally a separate species C.orientalis.) is a member of the crow family and a subspecies of the carrion crow. Differences from the nominate subspecies include a larger size, at a length about 500 millimetres (20 in), and more graduated outer tail feathers. The eastern carrion crow is found in Siberia from the Yenisei to Japan, south to Central Asia, Afghanistan, Eastern Iran, Kashmir, Tibet and northern China. They generally lay three to five eggs in trees or buildings. The eggs show no difference from the nominate subspecies.Egg predation
Egg predation is a feeding strategy by animals (ovivores) including fish, birds, snakes and insects, in which they consume the eggs of other species. Since an egg represents a complete organism at one stage of its life cycle, eating an egg is a form of predation, the killing of another organism for food.
Egg predation is found widely across the animal kingdom, including in insects such as ladybirds, molluscs such as the leech Cystobranchus virginicus, fishes such as haddock, snakes such as colubrids, birds such as carrion crow and buzzard, and mammals such as red fox, badgers and pine martens. Some species are specialist egg predators, but many more are generalists which take eggs when the opportunity arises.
Snakes specialising in egg predation have greatly reduced venom, implying that the main function of venom is to subdue prey.Fan-tailed raven
The fan-tailed raven (Corvus rhipidurus) is a passerine bird of the crow family native to Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Like the Forest raven, Little raven, Australian raven and Chihuahuan raven, it is one of the smaller raven species. The larger species of raven are the Common raven, Thick-billed raven, White-necked raven and Brown-necked raven with the Common and Thick-billed ravens being the world's largest raven species and the Little and Fan-tailed ravens being the smallest, in fact it is about the same size or slightly larger than the carrion crow (47–51 cm) but with a much thicker bill, shorter tail and much larger wings.Grey crow
The grey crow (Corvus tristis), formerly known as the bare-faced crow, is about the same size (42–45 cm in length) as the Eurasian carrion crow (Corvus corone) but has somewhat different proportions and quite atypical feather pigmentation during the juvenile phase for a member of this genus.
The tail feathers are relatively long and graduated and the legs are relatively short. The overall colouring of the adult bird is black with randomly bleached wing and tail feathers. A large region around the eye is quite bare of feathering and shows pinkish-white skin with the eyes a bluish-white. The bill is unusual too in being very variable, bluish on upper mandible and pinkish-white on the lower in some specimens, while on others the whole bill is pinkish white with a darker tip. The forward pointing nasal bristles so often prominent in other Corvus species are very reduced also.
The juvenile bird by comparison has remarkably pale plumage being light brown to cream, the wings, tail and primaries showing blackish-brown and fawn and the head and underparts often almost white.
The species occurs all over the huge island of New Guinea and associated offshore islands in both primary and secondary forest in both lowland and hill forest up to 1350 m.
Feeding is both on the ground and in trees taking a very wide range of items. Fruit seems to be very important making up a large percentage of the intake though small animals such as frogs and aquatic insect larvae are taken from shallow water on sand or shingle beds in rivers. When foraging through the trees the birds keep loose, noisy contact with each other and usually number between 4–8 individuals.
The voice is described as a weak sounding 'ka' or a whining 'caw' with other hoarse sounding notes added when excited.Hooded crow
The hooded crow (Corvus cornix) (also called hoodie) is a Eurasian bird species in the Corvus genus. Widely distributed, it is also known locally as Scotch crow and Danish crow. In Ireland, it is called caróg liath or grey crow, just as in the Slavic languages and in Danish. In German, it is called "mist crow" ("Nebelkrähe"). Found across Northern, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East, it is an ashy grey bird with black head, throat, wings, tail, and thigh feathers, as well as a black bill, eyes, and feet. Like other corvids, it is an omnivorous and opportunistic forager and feeder.
It is so similar in morphology and habits to the carrion crow (Corvus corone), for many years they were considered by most authorities to be geographical races of one species. Hybridization observed where their ranges overlapped added weight to this view. However, since 2002, the hooded crow has been elevated to full species status after closer observation; the hybridisation was less than expected and hybrids had decreased vigour. Within the hooded crow species, four subspecies are recognized, with one, the Mesopotamian crow, possibly distinct enough to warrant species status itself.House crow
The house crow (Corvus splendens), also known as the Indian, greynecked, Ceylon or Colombo crow, is a common bird of the crow family that is of Asian origin but now found in many parts of the world, where they arrived assisted by shipping. It is between the jackdaw and the carrion crow in size (40 cm (16 in) in length) but is slimmer than either. The forehead, crown, throat and upper breast are a richly glossed black, whilst the neck and breast are a lighter grey-brown in colour. The wings, tail and legs are black. There are regional variations in the thickness of the bill and the depth of colour in areas of the plumage.Montiferru
Montiferru is a historical region of central-western Sardinia, Italy. It takes its name from the eponymous extinct volcano massif, whose main peak is the Monte Urtigu (1,050 m). Extending for some 700 km², the massif had originally a maximum elevation of c. 1,600/1,700 m, later reduced due to erosion.
The volcanic origin of the area is testified by the basaltic rocks of the seaside. Water sources are frequent, rivers from the area including the Rio Mannu.
The economy is essentially rural, based on agriculture and animal husbandry. Flora goes from the Mediterranean shrubland of the coast to olive and fruit trees in the mainland, up to pine and oaks in the more elevated parts. Wildlife include wild boar, fox, Sardinian hare, European hedgehog, least weasel, marten, the rare Sardinian wildcat, vulture, carrion crow, peregrine falcon, hoopoe, little owl, Eurasian scops owl and others.Somali crow
The Somali crow, or dwarf raven (Corvus edithae), is approximately the size (44–46 cm in length) of the carrion crow, Corvus corone but with longer bill and somewhat more brownish cast to the feathers, especially when worn.
This species occurs principally in Somalia, Djibouti, the Ogaden and the Northern Frontier District in the Horn of Africa, and can be distinguished from the larger brown-necked raven C. ruficollis by its call, appearance and differences in its behaviour.
It was formerly considered a subspecies of the larger brown-necked raven (C. ruficollis), but is now considered to be a distinct species.
This crow is thought to be closer to the pied crow C. albus by some authorities, especially in its behaviour, than to the brown-necked raven. Hybrid birds between the pied crow and the Somali crow appear to reinforce this close relationship where the two species meet.
The nest is a raven-like bulky structure set in either a lone tree or on telegraph poles. It will nest on cliffs in coastal regions or areas where trees are unavailable. The 3-5 eggs are laid in April and early May.
The voice is described as a harsh "caw" rather like the rook, Corvus frugilegus of Eurasia.Stelvio National Park
Stelvio National Park (Italian: Parco nazionale dello Stelvio; German: Nationalpark Stilfser Joch) is a national park in the north-east of Italy, founded in 1935.
The park is the largest in Italy and covers part of two regions: Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Lombardia, in 24 municipalities.
Stelvio National Park has borders with the Swiss National Park, the Parco naturale provinciale dell'Adamello-Brenta and the Parco regionale dell'Adamello. Together, these parks comprise 400,000 hectares (1,500 sq mi) of protected natural environment. The park includes an extensive territory of valleys and high mountains, ranging from 650 metres (2,130 ft) to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) in height.
Stelvio National Park is home to a variety of wildlife including chamois, alpine ibex, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, red foxes, stoats, least weasels, red squirrels, alpine marmots, mountain hares, Eurasian badgers, beech martens, European pine martens, European mole, hazel grouse, lammergeiers, ravens, carrion crow, great spotted woodpeckers, black woodpeckers, buzzards, nutcrackers, Eurasian dotterels, rock partridges, western capercaillies, Eurasian eagle-owls and golden eagles.The Mewlips
The Mewlips is a hobbit poem, appearing in the work The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien. It concerns the Mewlips, an imaginary race of evil creatures that feed on passers by, collecting their bones in a sack. The poem describes the long and lonely road needed to reach the Mewlips, travelling beyond the Merlock Mountains, and through the marsh of Tode and the wood of "hanging trees and gallows-weed". None of these names appear on any of the official maps of Middle-earth. There is a mention, in the same poem, of gorcrows, creatures who croak in their sleep; nothing more is said of them. Gorcrow is an old term for Carrion crow, a common Eurasian scavenging bird.
Extant species of family Corvidae