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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Crows/Corvidae

Hooded Crow/Corvus cornix - Adult

L 44-51 cm, WS 84-100 cm. Breeds in open woodland, on moors and wooded shores, in tree clumps in farming areas and in larger town parks. Resident in large parts of Europe, but many Finnish and Russian crows migrate in winter to Sweden and the North Sea countries. Hybridizes with Carrion Crow, another race of same species. Vigilant and shy with good reason, for is an outlaw in most countries. Omnivore, robs other birds’ nests, takes refuse and carrion, insects and other invertebrates on fields and seashores (incl. small fish, mussels etc.), berries, seeds etc. Builds open stick nest in tree crown, usually well concealed.
IDENTIFICATION: Size of Rook and similar in shape, but recognized immediately by bicoloured plumage with dirty light grey body and black wings and tail along with black head and straggly black bib down to breast (cf. House Crow). Flight is rather apathetic, almost sloppy, the wingbeats a little hesitant and without any bite (unlike Jackdaw’s somewhat deeper and more resolute beats). Often flies high up. Flock formation generally loose.
VOICE: Noisy. Calls are mostly hoarse, hard and croaking. Commonest call, also functioning as song, is a hard rolling croak repeated 3-4 times, ‘krra krra kraa’ (with individual variation; at times Rook-like without rolling ‘r’, ‘gaah ...’). Birds bicker among themselves, or mob Sparrowhawk and owls, with stifled but stubborn grating ‘krrrr krrrr ...’; but, when it comes to the dreaded Goshawk, it gives full vent to loud, hard and indignant ‘krrah’ notes.

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