Also known as: Carrion crow
Scientific Name: Corvus corone
Appearance: Carrion crows are black with thick beaks and a slight sheen to their feathers. There are many closely related species, such as the hooded crows found in Scotland, which can be distinguished by patches of grey or white plumage.
Body length: 48-52 cm
Weight: 370-650 g
Natural history: Carrion crows are common throughout most of western Europe, but absent from north-west Scotland and Scandinavia, where the hooded crow replaces them. A subspecies is found in eastern Asia.
Crows are omnivores with a highly varied diet. Though known as scavengers, they are also frequent nest predators, taking the eggs and chicks of many other birds. Nest predation by crows has even driven a European thrush, the fieldfare, to nest beside a bird of prey and potential predator, the merlin, for protection.
Trivia: Crows are highly intelligent. For instance, they drop tough nuts into traffic to break the shells, then wait until red lights to collect the kernels.
(C) ianpreston (shared under a CC BY 2.0 license)