Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Carrion Crow


His Latin name is Corvus corone and it always makes me think of a Mafia godfather, for some reason.


But then, I suppose they can look pretty mean sometimes.


The Carrion Crow is easily confused with a Rook.


Mr. Corvus corone, however, never has the pale face patch of a Rook, and he also looks tidier since he lacks the baggy trousers and fluffy forehead. His feathers are completely black, although a stunning purple to blue sheen can be seen in the light.



His bill and legs are black; the inside of the mouth is pink in youngsters turning to black as a bird reaches maturity, a useful trait for identifying a crow’s age.



The eyes are dark brown in adults and blue grey in youngsters.


They are found in Western Europe and throughout Asia, and where the distributions of Carrion Crows and the very closely related Hooded Crows meet, interbreeding occurs and creates hybrid Crows. 
Carrion Crows will mate for life and lay five blue eggs each spring.

He is one of the cleverest, most adaptable of our birds; often quite fearless; although he can be wary of man, with good reason. Early historical records reveal that the Crow has long been synonymous as a "despicable predator". King Henry VIII put a public bounty on the crow along with its relation the Rook. Even today, some people set traps to catch them.



I found this one in a Larson trap, on the Duke of Bedford’s estate, at Woburn. (Woburn Abbey).

Somehow it managed to escape though.

Carrion Crows will come to gardens for food and although often cautious initially, they soon learn when it is safe, and will return repeatedly to take advantage of whatever is on offer.




Birds of great intelligence; I love ‘em!




55 comments:

  1. So do I Keith. I didn't know that much about them so thanks for all that.

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  2. Interesting serie, the first one is an awseome portrait!

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  3. Great photos and a very interesting post.

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  4. Hi Keith...they are quite smart...I bet that one opened the latch and let himself out...lol ; }
    Nice post about your buddies...!!
    Hugs my friend!!

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  5. I very much like crows. They're incredibly intelligent birds and I'm not at all surprised that the trapped one escaped. Beautiful images, here.

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  6. Thanks Adrian. They are fascinating birds, and I found a great corvid sanctuary web site.

    Thanks Dominic. They are such willing posers when food is around lol

    Thanks for your comment Mick. :)

    Thank you grammie. Yea, I think you're right lol
    I've grown quite attached to these guys over the weeks.

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  7. Thanks Hilary. They are clever birds; sometimes a little help doesn't do any harm though lol

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  8. I've always loved crows, despite their "bad reputation", they seem to have great intelligence. Great post btw, I love learning new facts like that.

    p.s. good job helping the one out of the trap, if you did ;)

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  9. These are amazing photos of what I think are really tough birds to photograph. Is the light ever really right for crows? Well, it seems you have no problem. Your understanding of these creatures seems the result of much loving observation as your writing is as beautiful as you photos.
    Now how do you suppose that bird got away?!

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  10. Beautiful bird..and a wonderful post! Thanks and Happy Birding!

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  11. Great pictures and very informative! Their name is rather godfather-ish! LOL

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  12. Our variety are all over the place around here. But, I still enjoy watching them and even listening. When they start to caw as a group, there's usually a hawk, eagle, or osprey flying around.

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  13. We have a number of crows round our home on the Mornington Peninsula! Strangely, they even gravitate to the seashore at Dromana along with the seagulls and magpies. Also, some have a very dark blue eye. Lovely photos and an interesting post!

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  14. Thank you Hillary. It’s a shame they have such a bad reputaion. A lot is based on myth, and the rest; they are just doing what they do to survive. :)

    Springman, thank you. They can be difficult at times to photograph with poor light, but worth the effort when the results come together. There are 3 Crows on my regular patch I visit, that are becoming very trusting of me. I might get them eating from my hand yet lol

    Hilary, thanks. It was heartbreaking to see him trapped like that.

    Dawn, thank you for your comment. :)

    EmptyNester , thank you. Yea, their name always has me thinking of the Marlon brando movie lol

    Thank you Mike. They are really common here too. They work as a great team to ward of any raptors that inadvertently stray near their territory.

    Greyscale Territory, thank you for your comments. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Nicole, thank you :)

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  15. Excellent post on the Carrion Crow Keith (it is Keith isn't it?). My first visit to your blog...I love it! Crows are so intelligent. They recognize humans by face and also use tools, among other incredible things. These photos are incredible, the lighting and backgrounds are superb!

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  16. Beautiful portraits of this species -- I especially like the 2nd frame!

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  17. They are so very beautiful. Hope all is going well. It is for me today . One day at a time for certian.
    xo

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  18. Great post Keith, very informative and an excellent set of photographs. Like I said in an earlier comment, a new career as a 'Crow trainer' looks to be getting nearer! :)

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  19. I love them too :) And your pictures are awesome Keith - specially those with the yellow background - beautiful !!!

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  20. Thanks for stopping by Larry, and your comments. (Yea, it is Keith). :)
    Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

    Thank you Pat. That’s one of my favourites too.

    Thanks Lisa. Enjoy the rest of your day. :)

    Cheers Trevor. Yea, they’re great birds. The ones at the lake are getting quite bold now.

    Thank you Pescalune. Appreciate your comments. Have a great day. :)

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  21. Crows and ravens are extremely intelligent birds. Great shots and descriptions.

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  22. Good review with great images Keith. Funny how that crow managed to escape, but then they are clever birds.{:)

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  23. Excellent post and pics mate. Intelligent and charismatic but too often overlooked by most people. Cheers FAB.

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  24. Gee it escaped;ha,ha!! They are absolutely necessary to the forest as great cleaners. Good photos Keith. Boom & Gary of The Vermilon River.

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  25. Thank you Arija. They are great birds aren't they :)

    Thanks Roy. Yea, a very clever Crow lol

    Thanks Frank. Very true. A lot of people overlook them unfortunately.

    Gary, thank you. You're right, they are excellent cleaners.

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  26. Whish I had been there to capture the 'escape'.

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  27. Great shots Keith... You have captured that "steely shimmer" perfectly. I love them, even though they have the reputation.

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  28. Thanks Angie. They are great characters these birds, and so intelligent.

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  29. Informative post and nice pics. I find all species of corvids fascinating.

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  30. How did the Carrion Crow managed to escape????????

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  31. Great images and a lovely subject. A top post many thanks for sharing......

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  32. I think it is what we call Black crow. I have seen it once in Camargue. :)

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  33. These are some great shots and you made me smile with the Mafia godfather thing! :-)

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  34. Thank you Hilke. They are fascinating birds aren't they, and very intelligent.

    Bob, I think he had some help, maybe lol

    Thank you theconstantwalker. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Thank you NatureFootstep. Unmistakeable birds, whatever their name. I always find it interesting, some of the names birds are given, in different parts of the world.

    Thanks JM :)

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  35. Very nice photos, and interesting text. Facinating with these intelligent birds, wish I had more time to spend with them.

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  36. Lovely series, the details and compositions very nice...Thomas

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  37. That was a super look at the crow! Great tips on the pink mouth-IF ever a bird could figure a way out of a cage it would be a crow!
    ;o)

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  38. Øyvind, thank you. They are so interesting to watch.

    Thanks Thomas, appreciate your comments. :)

    Thanks Dixxe. They certainly are clever lol

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  39. A great serie of these interessting and intelligent birds. Long time ago I heard a story about a man (I know him and the story is true), living with a crow as his "Pet". Every day after work the man feeds the crow with some pork sausage (Fleischwurst) and the crow loves this. If the man comes a only a litte bit later from his work, the crow was sitting on the window (the crow lives outdoor) and makes a terrible noise because the crow was very angry about the lateness:-((( All the neighbours knowed exactly, If the man are too late at home..... Hugs from Luzia with this amusing story.

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  40. Lucy, that is a great story. Such a lucky man to have a great, trusting, relationship like that with a wild animal. They are exceptional birds, with great intelligence.

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  41. Gorgeous photos! Lots of interesting info too. I think they are wonderful birds, such intelligence! I didn't realise people still set traps for them, that is horrifying but I am so glad the one you found 'somehow' escaped ;) You are a lovely and gentle man Keith.

    I loved the photos on the last post too, my favourites were the frozen lake with the hoar frost and the one of the Robin. So sorry to be unable to keep up at the moment!

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  42. Thanks Jan. Yea, unfortunately it is still legal in this country to set traps for them. The country that designed the traps made them illegal strangely enough.

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  43. We have Ravens here in Canada, they stay here all year long, they are mostly found in Northern Canada but can be found in the Rocky Mountains and other mountain rages in British Columbia and Yukon. The Ravin is a carrian bird as well, and is about 3 to 4 times larger than the southern cousin, from the U.S.A., that comes to visit every summer. I found that the Crow is also an opertunist and will eat road kill when it presents itself.

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  44. Thanks Horst. We see a few Ravens near here, but not so many. Usually Jays, Rooks, Jackdaws, and the Crows. All are great birds, and very intelligent. Fascinating to watch them.

    Thank you Lenora. I'd rate their intelligence higher than some of the people I've met lol

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  45. I have such a problem getting birds. I enjoyed viewing these agian.
    I have small winter birds but they are so hard to capture . For me that is.
    Thanks for stopping by. Have a peaceful weekend. and get out and enjoy.
    Lisa xo

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  46. it is so hard to take photos of them with the black feathers - you managed that just perfectly.
    I didn't know about the pink mouth inside in youngster - good to know. Thanks for sharing.

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  47. Interesting information and outstanding photos of this smart bird. I really liked the shot of the babe being fed.

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  48. Well, I now know more about crows, ha! There was some study recently that indicated they have quite a memory (and are capable of holding a grudge against people who treat them badly).

    Those are some excellent shots!

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  49. Thank you Lisa. Have a good weekend too.

    dreamfalcon, thank you for your comments :)

    Thank you Jean. Appreciate your comments. :)

    Sarah, thank you. There are 3 at my local lake, that always recognise me. Probably because I feed them ;)

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  50. Good job you arrived when you did. Handsome and intelligent but sometimes the belly comes first...

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  51. Thanks Debbie. The Einstein's of the bird world lol

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