Monday Bird of the Week No.26 – Carrion Crow

_dsc9346-1280x852The Carrion Crow (or simply ‘crow’) is one of our most common birds, a staple of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. But familiarity can breed contempt.

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While we think of these intelligent birds as sociable, it’s generally rooks that form the big groups with crows more solitary. Not that they do not socialise, and even cooperate. Young from a previous year will often hang around their parents a second or even third year to help with raising the young, otherwise a job left to the female. Not that males are flighty, corvids tend to be monogamous and pair for life.

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Conflict will arise between them and other corvids, especially magpies in my experience. Last year I watched one take a magpie nest apart. Those who take against magpies for their own nest destruction behaviour will view this as just desserts.

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Corvids may be the most featured bird in human mythology, their intelligence, sociability, and familiarity turning them into omens and portents, tricksters, heroes, ancestors, and gods. They appear throughout religions, ancient and modern, and across the world and cultures, sacred and damned in equal measure.

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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