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Overview

Brief Summary

Description

The carrion crow was, until recently, considered to be a race of the same species as the hooded crow (Corvus cornix), but it is now recognised as a separate species (7). It is the same size and shape as the hooded crow, but differs in that the plumage is entirely black, with a green and bluish-purplish gloss (2). The thick black bill has a curved tip (2). Vocalisations are croaky and harsh, and somewhat 'harder' than those of the hooded crow (2); the name 'crow' is imitative of their calls (5).
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Biology

Carrion crows have a broad diet, including carcasses, eggs, insects, small vertebrates, molluscs, and even vegetables and grains in winter (4). They bury food for later consumption, and occasionally drop certain food items with hard shells, such as crabs and nuts, from a height in order to obtain the food inside (6). This crow starts to breed at three years of age. Pairs, once formed, last for life. Courtship involves mutual preening, and a rapid head-bowing display by the male (6). Breeding pairs are very territorial, and create solitary nests in trees, bushes or on cliffs (6). The nest consists of thick branches and twigs intertwined with pegs, rags, paper, bones and other odd objects, held together with mud and dung and lined with wool, hair and grass (6). Four to five bluish-green, speckled eggs are laid in April, and are incubated by the female for up to 20 days. During this time, the male brings food to his mate on the nest. In the early part of their life, chicks are fed on regurgitated food by the female. Both parents then provision them with worms and maggots, progressing to various types of meat at a later stage (6). The young will have usually fledged after 35 days, but stay close to their parents for some time (6). In winter large communal roosts of carrion crows can occur (6). This species displays behaviour known as 'anting'; individuals allow ants to crawl over their body, adopting unusual prone postures. They are also known to have a strange interest with fire, and have been seen carrying burning material to the nest, and then displaying unusual behaviour (6).
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Comprehensive Description

Description of Corvus corone

De \'\'zwarte kraai\'\' (\'Corvus corone\') is een grote zangvogel die algemeen voorkomt in de Benelux. ==Uiterlijk== Een volwassen kraai is ongeveer 48 cm lang en weegt ongeveer 550 gram. Kraaien zijn groter dan kauwen en in tegenstelling tot de laatste helemaal zwart, vaak met een wat groenige glans over de veren. Van de ongeveer even grote roeken zijn ze te onderscheiden doordat de laatsten een kaal stuk huid aan de basis van de snavel hebben, waardoor de snavel langer lijkt. Een roeksnavel is ook lichter van kleur dan de gitzwarte kraaiensnavel.  Zwarte Kraaien 46 cm. Verenkleed geheel zwart, hetgeen het enige verschil is met Bonte Kraai. Te onderscheiden van veel grotere Raaf door geluid, rechte staart en gladde keel, en van juveniele Roek door zwaardere, minder puntige snavel en ontbreken van \'broek\'. Gewoonlijk alleen of in paren, behalve op slaapplaats. Opent hard voedsel (bijvoorbeeld krabben of noten) door het van enige hoogte naar beneden te laten vallen. Gewone roep een krassend \'kraah\'.
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Distribution

Range

Occurs throughout Great Britain, south of the Great Glen in northern Scotland (7). There are two main populations globally; one is distributed throughout most of Asia, the second occurs in western Europe (4). Where the distributions of carrion and hooded crows meet, there is a zone where interbreeding takes place and hybrids occur, which have intermediate plumage (4). In Great Britain, these hybrids occur in a band roughly between Aberdeen and Glasgow (4).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 39 specimens in 3 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 15 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 7.710 - 9.671
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.075 - 5.900
  Salinity (PPS): 6.428 - 35.082
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.368 - 8.179
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.231 - 0.507
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.963 - 12.889

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 7.710 - 9.671

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.075 - 5.900

Salinity (PPS): 6.428 - 35.082

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.368 - 8.179

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.231 - 0.507

Silicate (umol/l): 1.963 - 12.889
 
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Depth range based on 39 specimens in 3 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 15 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 7.710 - 9.671
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.075 - 5.900
  Salinity (PPS): 6.428 - 35.082
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.368 - 8.179
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.231 - 0.507
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.963 - 12.889

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 7.710 - 9.671

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.075 - 5.900

Salinity (PPS): 6.428 - 35.082

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.368 - 8.179

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.231 - 0.507

Silicate (umol/l): 1.963 - 12.889
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Occupies an extremely broad range of habitats (4).
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Associations

Known prey organisms

Corvus corone (Corvus corone crow) preys on:
Crangon crangon
Hydrobia ulvae
Littorina saxatilis
Mytilus edulis

Based on studies in:
Scotland (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Hall SJ, Raffaelli D (1991) Food-web patterns: lessons from a species-rich web. J Anim Ecol 60:823–842
  • Huxham M, Beany S, Raffaelli D (1996) Do parasites reduce the chances of triangulation in a real food web? Oikos 76:284–300
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 19 years
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Corvus corone

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 15 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGAGCCGGAATAGTAGGTACCGCCCTAAGCCTCCTCATCCGAGCAGAACTAGGCCAACCAGGCGCTCTGCTAGGAGACGACCAAATCTATAATGTAATCGTCACAGCCCACGCTTTCGTCATAATTTTCTTTATAGTGATACCTATCATAATCGGAGGATTTGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCTCTAATGATCGGCGCCCCGGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAACAATATAAGCTTCTGACTCCTCCCACCCTCATTCCTTCTCCTTCTAGCCTCTTCCACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGCAGGAACAGGATGAACTGTGTACCCACCACTAGCCGGCAACCTAGCCCACGCTGGAGCCTCAGTCGACCTAGCCATCTTCTCACTACACCTAGCAGGTATTTCCTCCATCCTAGGGGCAATTAACTTCATCACTACAGCAATTAACATAAAACCCCCAGCCCTATCACAATACCAAACCCCTCTATTCGTATGATCTGTACTAATTACCGCAGTACTACTCCTTCTCTCCCTACCTGTACTTGCTGCCGGAATTACTATGCTCCTAACAGACCGTAACCTCAACACCACATTCTTCGATCCAGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCAGTACTATACCAACATCTATTCTGATTCTTTGGACACCCAGAAGTTTATATCCTAATTCTA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Corvus corone

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 17
Specimens with Barcodes: 27
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

History
  • 2012
    Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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