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Hooded Crow

Hooded Crow
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-04-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite bird in-flight photos 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-07-09 8:41
Viewed: 4763
Points: 49
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
After a few birds in flight, here another one, made on Lesvos, Greece.

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 Scotch Crow, Danish Crow, and Corbie or Grey Crow in Ireland, which is what its Welsh name, Brân Lwyd, translates as. Found across Northern, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East, it is an ashy grey bird with black head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers, as well as a black bill, eyes and feet. Like other corvids it is an omnivorous and opportunistic forager and feeder.

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. Within the Hooded Crow species, four subspecies are recognized, with one, the Mesopotamian Crow, possibly distinct enough to warrant species status itself.

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 binomial name is derived from the Latin words Corvus, "Raven", and cornix, "crow". It was subsequently considered a subspecies of the Carrion Crow for many years, and hence known as Corvus corone 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 C. c. sharpii (most populations), C. c. cornix (Corsican population) and the Middle Eastern C. c. pallescens.
• C. c. cornix, the nominate race, occurs in the British Isles (principally Scotland and Ireland) and Europe, south to Corsica.
• C. c. pallescens (Madarász, 1904) is found in Turkey and Egypt, and is a paler form as its name suggests.
• C. c. sharpii (Oates, 1889) is named for English zoologist Richard Bowdler Sharpe. This is a paler grey form found from western Siberia through to the Caucasus region and Iran.
• C. c. capellanus (P.L. Sclater, 1877) is 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. Wingspan is 98 cm and weight is on average 510 grammes.
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.

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, and an old Scottish name for empty sea urchin shells was "crow's cups". 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. It will also feed on small mammals, scraps, smaller birds and carrion.

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. In warmer parts of the British Isles, the clutch is laid in April. 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, and animal bones and wire are also frequently incorporated. The four to six brown-speckled blue eggs are 4.3 x 3.0 centimetres in size and weigh 19.8 grammes, of which 6% is shell. The altricial young are incubated for 17–19 days by the female alone, who is fed by the male. They fledge after 32 to 36 days. Incubating females have been reported to obtain most of their own food and later that for their young.

The typical lifespan is unknown, but that of the Carrion Crow is four years. The maximum recorded age for a Hooded Crow is 16 years 9 months.
This species is a secondary host of the parasitic Great Spotted Cuckoo, the European Magpie being the preferred host. However, in areas where the latter species is absent, such as Israel and Egypt, the Hooded Crow becomes the normal corvid host.
This species, like its relative, is seen regularly killed by farmers and on grouse estates. In County Cork, Ireland the county's gun clubs shot 23,000 Hooded Crows in two years in the early 1980s.

The IUCN Red List does not distinguish the Hooded Crow from the Carrion Crow, but the two species together have an extensive range, estimated at 10 million square kilometres (3.8 million square miles), and a large population, including an estimated 14 to 34 million individuals in Europe alone. They are not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations), and are therefore evaluated as Least Concern. The Carrion Crow/Hooded Crow hybrid zone is slowly spreading northwest, but the Hooded Crow has of the order of three million territories in just Europe (excluding Russia).

Source: Wikipedia

maaciejka, PaulLees, Luis52, CeltickRanger, bungbing, marius-secan, siggi, paolo49, cirano, jusninasirun, maurydv, pegos, anel, imageme has marked this note useful
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To PaulLees: WOW ...another time!mwmod99 6 07-10 14:27
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-07-09 8:43]

Hi Peter,isn't easy to take a crow in flight,i know...hehe...a very excellent pic whit a magnificent wings position and a top quality of sharpness and details as usual.Thanks for share,have a nice evening,Luciano

Ciao Peter. Good POV for a great contrast against the blue sky. Excelelnte details.


Hi Peter,
very nice bird in flight. Excellent point of view. Nice composition. Really nice blue sky.
Have a nice Saturday,

Hello Peter!
Lovely bird in flight.Amazing sharpness and wonderful contrast against the blue sky. I love it! Bravo! TFS
Nice w-end!

Hi Peter,

Wow what a fabulous image of this in-flight Hooded Crow my friend, very well handled exposure, nice sharpness with a lovely highlighted eye, great work Peter and well done,
Best regards,


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2011-07-09 9:39]

Hola Peter.
Great the last 3 photos of in flight birds. It is not an easy job to get such a wonerfull images. You did a grat work here my friend.
Interesting and long note to resd.
TFS and have a nice WE.

Hello Peter

Excellent in-flight shot of the Hooded Crow
with fine POV and framing, excellent focus
sharpness and details, TFS


Hello Peter,
Fantastic captured of the crow in-flight, very well timing, great focus, lovely contrast against the blue sky,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekend,
Best Regards,

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2011-07-09 10:16]

Hallo Peter,
Excellent capture ..
Nice natural colours and good focus.
Have a nice weekend,

Hello Peter,
Great capture. Very nice details and a difficult shoot.
Lovely details of the eye.

hallo Peter
mooie foto veel details en goed van kleur en scherpte
Ja, die zag je veel in Griekenland
groetjes lou

  • Good 
  • mwmod99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 655 N: 3361] (14196)
  • [2011-07-09 11:24]
  • [2]

A disappointing camera shake in result of relatively low shutter speed Peter! Good evening! I wander why f/13 has been used here at 300mm focal length when f/5.6 could do a perfect job of covering the bird in focus !!? Well, maybe next time!
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-07-09 11:33]

Hello Peter.
Great in-flight shot of this Hooded Crow.
A very good pose.Excellent timing too.
Perfect composition and great exposure.
Best regards Siggi

Ciao Peter, wonderful crow in fantastic fly on a lovely blue sky, splendid sharpness, perfect focus and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter, good catch on the fly ... A good image despite the difficulty of the shot. All the best, Paul

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-07-09 15:43]

Hello Peter,
A nice capture of this bird in flight,very good timing and point of view.TFS.

Hello Peter,
Great in flight again! and impressive useful note!

You have uploaded three consecutive birds in flight, Peter. The are all well captured with good sharpness against the blue sky. Great work with the lens producing this amazing shot.
Thanks and kind regards,

Hola Peter.

MMagnifico deisparo del cuervo en pleno vuelo,Buen enfoque y preciso encuadre.!Gran disparo¡

Hallo Peter,
a very good capture of the Hooded Crow in flight, very good sharpness and splendid colours, excellent point of view and composition
Best regards

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-07-10 14:04]

Hello Peter, beautiful shot of this species of crow. Good sharpness, wonderful contrast against the blue sky, nice natural colours . A really beautiful image.
Congratulations for your exceptional collection of birds!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-07-11 4:51]

Hello Peter,
A picture of a flying crow has been rarely shown here..it's an interesting shot showing the bird from underneath and how it holds it feet during the flight. Nice contrast with the blue sky. Sharpness is a litte bit just, but good enough to show the details.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-07-11 6:35]

Hello Peter,
Nice in-flight capture of a Hooded Crow. The composition against the blue sky is great and the crow is shown with nice sharpness, colours and lighting. This species is not that common in Lesvos, less common than in Sweden!
Thanks and best regards,

Interesante captura de un ave que no tenemos aquí.
Buen fin de semana: Josep Ignasi.

Hello PeterZ,

The image of this bird is extraordinary sharp and captured in a good moment. If you used 300mm for this flying bird, I have a lot to learn from you......Thank for sharing

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