[order] Passeriformes | [family] Corvidae | [latin] Corvus corone cornix | [UK] Hooded Crow | [FR] Corneille noire | [DE] Aaskrähe | [ES] Corneja Cenicienta | [IT] Cornacchia comune europea | [NL] Bonte Kraai

Bonte Kraai determination

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Except for the head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers, which are black and mostly glossy, the plumage is ash-grey, the dark shafts giving it a streaky appearance. The bill and legs are black. There is only one moult in autumn, as in other crow species. The male is the larger bird, otherwise the sexes are alike. The flight is slow and heavy and usually straight. The length varies from 48 to 52 cm. When first hatched the young are much blacker than the parents.

The Hooded Crow breeds in west Palearctic from sub-arctic and boreal through temperate to Mediterranean, steppe, and desert zones, up to 1000 m in Carpathians and Urals. In Scotland, predominates over nominate corone on higher ground, often moorland above c. 300 m, and is much more often found nesting on rocks, cliff ledges, and even on banks or islands on ground among heather, ranging up to c. 750 m; similar sites used in Norway.

The Hooded Crow breeds in northern and eastern Europe, and closely allied forms inhabit southern Europe and western Asia. Where its range overlaps with Carrion Crow, as in northern Britain, Germany and Siberia, their hybrids are fertile. However, the hybrids are less well-adapted than pure-bred birds, and this is one of the reasons that this species was split from the Carrion Crow. In the UK, the Hooded Crow breeds regularly in Scotland, the Isle of Man, and in the Scottish Islands. It also breeds widely in Ireland where it is locally known as the Grey Crow.

Principally invertebrates and cereal grain; also small vertebrates, birds‘ eggs, carrion, and scraps, proportions varying greatly according to local availability. In general, a ground-feeder and scavenger in agricultural landscapes, typically in pasture or rough grassland in spring and summer, arable fields in autumn and winter, when also nearer to towns, farms, woods, etc. Favourite sites include dung-rich pasture, hayfields, fields of cereal after harvest, areas by water (especially seashore), and rubbish tips, often exploiting rich food sources to exclusion of others; commonly follows plough.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 14,000,000-34,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but there is evidence of a population increase (Snow and Perrins 1998), and so the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Egg-laying from mid- to late March over most of west Palearctic range, continuing into May, one brood. The newt is build high in tree at woodland edge, in small stand, or isolated; also on pylon or telephone pole, more rarely on cliff, rock, building, or ground; if no high trees or pylons available in small tree, bush, or dense low vegetation. Almost always in upper third of highest available local tree, in fork or on branch generally near trunk, or in topmost twigs of smaller species. Nest: rigid but elastic construction typically in 4 layers, foundation of stout, short twigs mostly snapped off trees and bushes, sometimes with leaves, held together by layer of turf and moss, which is followed by smaller twigs, stalks, roots, and commonly runners of couch grass, then lining of bast, bark strips, grass, wool, feathers, etc., and much soft man-made material. Animal bones and wire often incorporated, sometimes forming whole foundation. variation within clutch size normally 3-6 bur can range from 2-7. The incubation peroid is 18-19 days, young fledge in 28-35 days.

C. c. corone Winters s to n Mediterranean area, nw India and s China. C. c. cornix Winters s to w Europe, s Iran, s Afghanistan, w Pakistan and w China. (Sibley Charles G. 1996). A little part of population: intracontinental, big part: non migratory