carrion crow



carrion crow defined in 1930 year

carrion crow - Carrion Crow;
carrion crow - Black with green and violet reflections; iris dark hazel; lower part of the beak covered with bristly feathers. Length, nineteen inches.

The common, black, or carrion crow so closely resembles the rook in form, size, and colouring as to be indistinguishable from it when seen at a distance. Viewed nearer it is seen to have the base of the beak clothed with feathers, instead of naked and grey, as is the case in the more common bird. The young rook may, however, be mistaken for a crow even when very near, as its face is feathered like the crow's. In voice the two birds differ, that of the crow being louder and very much harsher - more like the raven's croak than the familiar hoarse, but not disagreeable, caw of the rook. In summer he may be identified by his solitary habits. He has a very much worse reputation than the species he so nearly resembles: both game-preserver and farmer regard him as a pest, and he is said to be the most persecuted bird in this country. But somehow, in spite of all that is done to extirpate him utterly, he manages to keep a pretty strong hold on life, although he is not common. He inhabits all of the British Islands, chiefly England and Wales; in the central and northern parts of Scotland, and in Ireland, he is rarely met with, his place in those countries being taken by the hooded crow. When not engaged in breeding the crow is to some extent gregarious, and is also social, associating both in the fields and at roosting-time with rooks and jackdaws. And it is probable that this habit has been of great advantage to him, and may even have saved the species from extermination, for while among the rooks he easily passes for a rook. That he is exceptionally sagacious, and very careful to keep out of reach of his deadly human enemies, goes without saying; he is a member of a family ranking high in intelligence; and being so large and conspicuous a bird, his life is one of incessant danger. In selecting a site for his nest his intelligence is sometimes at fault. Not only is the nest a large structure, but, with a strange fatuity, the bird will at times build in a conspicuous place near a house. On the coast he is, like the raven and jackdaw, a nester in cliffs; inland h© usually builds in or on a large tree, and if the nest is allowed to remain he will use it for several years. The nest is a large platform, made of sticks, weeds, pieces of turf, and other materials, with a hollow in the centre neatly lined with fine grass, wool, hairs, and feathers. The eggs are four to six in number, in groundcolour pale bluish green, spotted and blotched with various shades of olive-brown, with purplish grey underlying blotches.

When there are young to feed the crow is exceedingly active; he is then most destructive to young pheasants and other game, and is a troublesome neighbour to the poultry. Young and weakly birds are dropped upon and picked up with astonishing adroitness and rapidity. He will pounce upon and carry off any small and easily conquered animal to satisfy his nestful of voracious young. At other times he is omnivorous: a carrion-eater like the raven, and devourer of dead stranded fish and other animal refuse cast up by the sea; in the pastures he searches for worms and grubs with the rooks; and when occasion offers he feeds on grain, berries, walnuts, and fruit. He appears to have a greater appetite than most species: he is said to be the first bird astir in the morning, and from dawn until sunset he is engaged incessantly in seeking food.

His flight resembles that of the rook, but is somewhat heavier.

near carrion crow in Knolik


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