Carrion Crow (Corvus corone corone) Bird Introduction


The hooded crow (Corvus coronecornix) is a close cousin of the carrion crow, found where the carrion crow is not — Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Scottish Highlands. It differs in appearance by having a distinct mid-grey rather than black body beneath its black wings and black head.

Unlike the rook, which it so closely resembles, the carrion or hooded crow is a solitary bird, nesting and feeding alone or in close family groups very occasionally foraging in small gangs, or flocks of a few hundred.

The “Hoodie” is said to have a deeper voice than the carrion crow. The familiar sound of either crow at dusk was a useful bedtime reminder for children in the days before clocks and TV. An old rhyme goes:

“Caw, caw!” says the crow, as he flies overhead,
“It’s time little Mary [or Johnny] was going to bed.”

Nesting and Diet

Easy to characterize as unpleasant because they are black and scavenge for dead meat, the collective noun for these birds is a murder of crows! But the carrion crow is actually one of Britain’s most intelligent animals, adapting ingeniously to the man-made environment.

Carrion crow can be seen in parks taking stale bread to the pond to soften it for example, and has learnt to haul up bin liners like fishing nets from deep bins to get at the discarded food at the bottom of them.


Carrion Crow Bird Information and Facts


It is a large black bird. All black, with a faint green gloss on the back; featherless black legs, heavy black beak and face; in flight, square-cut tail relatively blend, rounded wingtips.


The carrion crow bird length is about 47cm (19 in.)


Short harsh kaa-kaa-kaa.


The bird is an habitant of open countryside with a few trees – not dense woodland.

Carrion Crow Bird Distribution

All year throughout England, Wales and southern Scottland.

Similar Species (Not to be confused with)

The carrion crow bird is similar to the rook, which has a higher forehead, a whitish face and a purple sheen on its back; the raven, a much bigger black bird with a different habitat; and the jackdaw, which has dark grey underparts, paler grey neck and back of head, a shorter bill and a black cap and forehead.

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