The Crow Genus has had it's seedy reputation (excuse the pun). Many crows are common place in urban areas especially in high trees where the common squawk call between groups of birds will likely be the Jackdaw. Most of the Crow family are similar in their variants of shaded black but tend to have slightly different beaks. Smaller Crows tend to eat insects, bird eggs and smaller birds or mammals and range from 33cm up to the largest size of 64cm which for example is the Raven which will eat carrion and other birds.
Carrion Crow Bird
The Carrion crow eats carrion such as small dead mammals or live prey including chicks. Visible in most parts of England, Wales and nearly all of Scotland. They typically nests in the fork of a tree. If there a few trees in a breeding ground the nest will be at ground level. Present all year. They have a glossy black plumage and a rounded silvery bill. They will lay 4 - 6 eggs which the hen will incubate for around nineteen days. Includes Carrion Crow bird call.
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The Chough will eat worms, ant, beetles and shellfish. Mainly visible on west coast of Ireland and Wales. Typical nesting sites are cliff ledges, quarries or caves made of sticks, plant stems and grass. Present all year in only certain parts. With purple-black plumage, red legs and red curved bill. Juveniles have less glossy plumage and a more yellow beak. They typically lay 3-4 which hatch after seventeen to twenty three days. Includes Chough bird call.
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The Jackdaw will eat insects, young birds and eggs and fruit or seeds. They will also eat scraps. Visible throughout Britain. A hole within a tree trunk is a common location for a nest lined with hair, grass and wool. There are over a million breeding pairs present all year round. A smaller member of the Crow family, the Jackdaw has black wings and face but also a grey nape and underparts. Sexes are alike. They lay three to seven eggs which hatch in about seventeen days. Includes Jackdaw bird call.
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The Jay will eat beech nuts, peas, fruit and berries but will also eat small mammals, spiders and earthworms. Visible in England, Wales, most of Ireland and parts of Scotland. The nests are built up in trees of twigs and earth lined with hair. Present all year. The Jay has a streaked crest, sturdy silver beak and blue eyes. The body is sandy brown with dark brown wings and tail and a distinctive blue wing patch. Male and female are similar. The female will lay 5-7 eggs. The young are in the nest for about three weeks. Includes Jay bird call.
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The Magpie is an omnivore and scavenger. Visible in most of the UK. The nest is built of sticks in high trees or shrubs with a single entrance. Present all year round across Britain except northern most Scotland. The adult is one the most readily seen black and white british birds with a dark head and white underside. The tail is glossy purple-green with hints of blue. Juveniles are much more defined with black and white plumage and shorter tails. Five to eight eggs are laid in a clutch fed by both parents. Includes Magpie bird call.
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The staple diet of the Raven is Carrion such as small mammals but they have been known to feed off of sheep. They also eat eggs, insects and seeds. Found mainly in the south west of England, Wales, most of Scotland and Ireland. Nests are made of sticks, twigs and stalks along with earth, moss and hair and wool. Often nests are built in cliffs but they sometimes nest in trees. Present all year in breeding areas. The Raven has all black plumage. It is larger than the Carrion Crow and can be distinguished by it shaggy throat and large stout bill. Ravens lay four to six eggs which are incubated by the female that will be fed by the male. The eggs hatch in three weeks. Includes Raven bird call.
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The Rook commonly eats leather jackets and wire worms. Visible throughout the UK. They nest high in trees often among nests of other Rooks. The build the nest of sticks and soil lined with roots, moss and leaves. Present all year. With it's distinctive long whitish-grey bill and bare face patch, the Rook's plumage is purple-black with some fluffy feathers around the thighs. The Juvenile has no face patch but has fluffier thigh feathers. They lay three to five eggs. Includes Rook bird call.
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