Hooded Crow

From Academic Kids

Hooded Crow
Missing image
Corvus_corone_cornix_(Marek_Szczepanek).jpg

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Corvidae
Genus:Corvus
Species:C. cornix
Binomial name
Corvus cornix
Linnaeus, 1758

The Hooded Crow Corvus cornix, (48-52 cm in length) is so similar in structure and habits to the Carrion Crow that some authorities consider them to be merely geographical races of one species, however since 2002 the bird has been elevated to full species status. It breeds in northern and eastern Europe, and closely allied forms inhabit southern Europe and western Asia.

Missing image
Corvus_cornix_map.jpg
Distribution map

Where their ranges overlap, as in northern Britain, Germany and Siberia, their hybrids are fertile. However, the hybrids are less well-adapted than pure bred birds, and this is one of the reasons that this species was split from Carrion Crow. In the UK, the Hooded Crow breeds regularly in Scotland, the Isle of Man, and in the Scottish Islands. They also breed on a widespread basis in Ireland where they are locally know as "Grey Crows".

In autumn some migratory birds arrive on the east coast of Britain.

The Hoodie, with its contrasted greys and blacks, cannot be confused with either the Carrion Crow or Rook, but the call notes of the two are almost indistinguishable. The flight is slow and heavy and usually straight.

The diet is similar to that of the Carrion, and it is a constant scavenger. It drops molluscs and crabs to break them after the manner of the Carrion Crow.

On coastal cliffs the eggs of gulls, cormorants and other birds are stolen when their owners are absent, and it will enter the burrow of the Puffin with a similar object.

As a rule the nest is placed on or near the ground, on a cliff, in heather or a low bush, but trees are occasionally used. It resembles that of the Carrion, but on the coast seaweed is often interwoven in the structure. The four to six eggs are of the usual crow type, very similar to those of the Carrion. They are laid as a rule early in April.

Except for the head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers, which are black and mostly glossy, the plumage is ash-grey, the dark shafts giving it a streaky appearance. The bill and legs are black. There is only one moult in autumn, as in other crows. The male is the larger bird, otherwise the sexes are alike. When first hatched the young are much blacker than the parents.


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