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Crows

Jackdaw walking on grass

Image: Ben Andrew

Crows are medium to large birds; many species are black or black and grey; others are pied; others are more colourful or well-patterned. Eight species breed in the UK; there are many others around the world.

Most crows are adaptable but often shy where persecuted; in towns, some become tame and may visit gardens. They all have strong, scaly feet, and stout (or downcurved) bills, mostly with a small patch of bristly feathers covering the nostrils. Northern populations of some species are migratory or nomadic, others are entirely resident.

Carrion crow

The all-black carrion crow is one of the cleverest, most adaptable of our birds. It is often quite fearless, although it can be wary of man. They are fairly solitary, usually found alone or in pairs... More...

Carrion crow

Chough

While its black plumage identifies it as a crow, the chough (pronounced 'chuff') has a red bill and legs unlike any other member of the crow family. It has a restricted westerly distribution in the B... More...

Chough

Hooded crow

The hooded crow is closely related to the carrion crow, which until recently was regarded as the same species. In areas where the two species overlap there may be some interbreeding with hybrids showi... More...

Hooded crow

Jackdaw

This is a small, black crow with a distinctive silvery sheen to the back of its head. The pale eyes are also noticeable.... More...

Jackdaw

Jay

Although they are the most colourful members of the crow family, jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover. The screaming call usually lets yo... More...

Jay

Magpie

With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue ... More...

Magpie

Raven

The raven is a big black bird, a member of the crow family. It is massive - the biggest member of the crow family. It is all black with a large bill, and long wings. In flight, it shows a diamond-shap... More...

Raven

Rook

Bare, greyish-white face, thinner beak and peaked head make it distinguishable from the carrion crow. Rooks are very sociable birds, and you're not likely to see one on its own. They feed and roost in... More...

Rook