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!