Belongs to: crows

Compare with: rook

Carrion crow Corvus corone corone

Also known as: crow


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Notorious all-black egg-thief

Habitat: anywhere with a large tree suitable for a nest

Widespread and common resident

Recognition

All black with a heavy bill; 45–49 cm; assertive 'kaaah', usually repeated three times, often heard 

Most of the year solitary or in pairs, but gather in family parties in summer and in roosting flocks in winter

Feeds on insects, grain, worms, eggs and young of other birds, carrion, fruit and seeds, and sometimes small mammals

Lifecycle

In courtship the male bows to the female; once paired, birds stay together for life

Bulky nest of twigs lined with grass and dead leaves, usually high in a tree

One brood of 3–5 blue-green eggs, speckled brown, April to May

  • Main photo

Photo © Gerald Downey