CORVIDAE of Europe

The Corvidae family contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs and nutcrackers. They are considered the most intelligent of the birds. They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Most species have bristle-like feathers covering their nostrils. They are omnivores having a varied diet. Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps. [abstracted from Wikipedia]

Crows and Allies

Order Passeriformes    Family Corvidae

Genus Corvus

The genus Corvus consists of large birds that are are either black all over, or mainly black with white or gray patches. They range in size from the relatively small Jackdaws to the very large Common Raven. The 40 or so members of this genus occur on all continents except South America and Antarctica.

Crow, Carrion Corvus corone   Found: Europe, Asia
Carrion and Hooded Crows were formerly consider races of the same species, Corvus corone. That designation is now assigned to the Carrion Crow, and the Hooded Crow, formerly Corvus corone cornix, has been elevated to Corvux cornix
Image by: 1) Steve Nova  2) Dick Daniels - England   3, 4) Dick - Scotland  5)  L  B Tettenborn - germany 6) Cristiano Crolle -Locana, Italy

Crow, Hooded Corvus cornix   Found: Europe, Asia
The Hooded Crow has mainly ashy-gray plumage; black hooded head, throat, wings, breast marks; black bill, eyes, feet.
Image by: 1) JF Bleak  2) Dick Daniels - Scotland  3, 4) Charlie Westerinen - Warsaw, Poland 5) Cristiano Crolle - Arese, Italy

Jackdaw also Eurasian Jackdaw also Western Jackdaw  Corvus monedula   Found: northeast North America (vagrant), Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Jackdaw has black on center of head; black throat, wings; gray nape, back, underparts; light gray eyes
Similar to: Hooded Crow, Hooded Crow's black hood covers all of the head; Jackdaw only has black on front part of head.
Image by: 1) Sergey Yeliseev - Moscow region  2) Charlie Westerinen   3) Placid Casual  4) Maxwell Hamilton - England   5) Dick Daniels - Scotland   6) Lip Kee - Italy  7)  Olivier Klein - Netherlands 
1) Juvenile

A raven is one of several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus. Most have black plumage and large beaks but their plumage can differ slightly in some species. Most species have dark brown irises but a few in Australia have white irises.

Raven, CommonCorvus corax   Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa
Apart from its greater size, the Common Raven differs from its cousins, the crows, by having a larger and heavier, black beak, shaggy feathers around the throat and above the beak, and a wedge-shaped tail.
Similar to: Rook. Rook has gray at base of bill; Common Raven has completly black bill.
Image by: 1) Hogroth  2) Dick Daniels - Arizona   3, 4, 45) Dick - Wyoming   6) Dick - Napel   7) Dick - California  

Raven, Thick-billed  Corvus crassirostris  Found: Ethiopia, Eritrea, and nearby
The Thick-billed Raven has mainly black plumage; large thick black bil with white tipl; white patch on rear of neck.
Image by: 1) Steve Nova  2) Ondrej Zvacek

Rook Corvus frugilegus   Found: Europe, New Zealand (introduced)
The Rook has black plumage which may have blue to purple sheen in the sunlight. It has large, pointed bill with bare gray-white skin around base of bill and near the eyes.
Similar to: Common Raven. Rook has gray at base of bill; Common Raven has completly black bill.
Image by: 1) Adrian Benko  2) Dick Daniels - England   3, 5) Dick - Scotland  4) Dick - Scotland

Genus Pyrrhocorax
The choughs are resident in the mountains.. They have long broad wings and perform spectacular aerobatics. They build a lined stick nest and lay three to five eggs. They feed, usually in flocks, on short grazed grassland, taking mainly invertebrate prey, supplemented by vegetable material or food from human habitation, especially in winter.

Chough, Alpine  also Yellow-billed Chough  Pyrrhocorax graculus   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Alpine Chough has glossy black plumage; yellow bill; red legs.
Image by: 1) Gunter Hildebrandt   2) Mathias Bigge - Austria  3) Charlie Westerinen - Eiger, Switzerland

Chough, Red-billed  Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Red-billed Chough has glossy black plumage; long curved red bill; red legs.
Image by: 1) Yomangani  2) Malte Uhl 3) Dibyendu Ash - India 4) Paul Roberts - Wales
2) Pyrrhocorax Pyrrhocorax barbarus  3) P. p. himalayanusone

Back to Top