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|Subject||Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) - Wiki|
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Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) - Wiki
The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) (sometimes called Hoodiecrow) is a Eurasian bird species in the crow genus. Widely distributed, it is also known locally as Militia Crow or Militia Bird in Russia as their color pattern resembles uniforms worn by the police, Scotch Crow, Danish Crow, and Grey Crow in Ireland, which is what its Welsh name, Br??n Lwyd, translates as.
It is so similar in morphology and habits to the Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) that for many years they were considered by most authorities to be merely geographical races of one species. The fact that hybridization was observed where their ranges overlapped added weight to this view. However, since 2002, the Hooded Crow has been elevated to full species status after closer observation the hybridisation was less than expected and hybrids had decreased vigour.
The Hooded Crow was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work Systema Naturae and it once again bears its original name of Corvus cornix. The specific epithet cornix is derived from the Latin for "crow".
It was subsequently considered a subspecies of the Carrion Crow for many years, and hence known as Corvus corone subsp. cornix, due to similarities in structure and habits. Since 2002, it has been re-elevated to full species status.
Four subspecies of the Hooded Crow are now recognised; previously all were considered subspecies of Corvus corone. A fifth, Corvus cornix sardonius (Trischitta, 1939) has been listed though it has been alternately partitioned between sharpii (most populations), cornix (Corsican population) and the middle eastern pallescens.
C.c. cornix (nominate race) occurs in the British Isles (principally Scotland and Ireland) and Europe, south to Corsica.
C.c. pallescens (Madar??sz, 1904) Found in Turkey and Egypt, a paler form as its name suggests.
C.c. sharpii (Oates, 1889) A paler grey form found from western Siberia through to the Caucasus region and Iran.
C.c. capellanus (P.L. Sclater, 1877) Known as the Mesopotamian Crow or Iraqi Pied Crow, this distinctive form occurs in Iraq and southwestern Iran. It has very pale grey plumage which looks almost white from a distance. It is possibly distinct enough to be considered a separate species.
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; the iris dark brown. 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. Juveniles have duller plumage with bluish or greyish eyes and initially a red mouth.
The Hooded Crow, with its contrasted greys and blacks, cannot be confused with either the Carrion Crow or Rook, but the kraa call notes of the two are almost indistinguishable.
Distribution and habitat
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, Denmark, northern Italy 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. There are some areas, such as Iran and central Russia, where little or no interbreeding occurs.
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.
In autumn some migratory birds arrive on the east coast of Britain.
The Hooded Crow is omnivorous, with a diet similar to that of the Carrion Crow, and is a constant scavenger. It drops molluscs and crabs to break them after the manner of the Carrion Crow. On coastal cliffs the eggs of gulls, cormorants and other birds are stolen when their owners are absent, and it will enter the burrow of the Puffin to steal eggs.
Nesting occurs later in colder regions: mid-May to mid-June in northwest Russia, Shetland and the Faroe Islands, and late February in the Persian Gulf region. The bulky stick nest is normally placed in a tall tree, but cliff ledges, old buildings and pylons may be used. Nests are occasionally placed on or near the ground. The nest resembles that of the Carrion Crow, but on the coast seaweed is often interwoven in the structure. The four to six brown-speckled blue eggs are incubated for 17-19 days by the female alone, who is fed by the male. The young fledge after 32-36 days. Incubating females have been reported to obtain most of their own food and later that for their young.
In Israel this species is parasitised by the Great Spotted Cuckoo, whose normal host, the European Magpie, is absent from that country.
Jethro Tull mentions the Hooded Crow on the song "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow" as a bonus track on the digitally remastered version of Broadsword and the Beast and on their The Christmas Album.
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