Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is now lumped within Carrion Crow (Corvus corone).


French: Corneille mantelée German: Nebelkrähe Spanish: Corneja Cenicienta
Other common names: Common Crow (with C. corone), Eurasian Crow (with C. corone), Mesopotamian Crow (capellanus)

Corvus Cornix


, 1758,



Thought to form a superspecies with C. corone, possibly also including C. pectoralis; was for long treated as conspecific with former. Situation complex, as narrow bands of hybridization between present species and C. corone exist across Scotland, through C Europe, in C Siberia and in C Asia, but striking plumage differences, subtle differences in vocalizations, and both narrowness and plasticity of hybrid zones all suggest that speciation has been at least partially achieved. British Is present a most interesting distributional jigsaw, with present species throughout Ireland, I of Man, N Scotland and Scottish isles, being replaced by C. corone over England, Wales and S Scotland; this suggests that present species had colonized from E, probably being the original British crow, but N-spreading C. corone from France or Spain colonized S England; meanwhile, Ireland and I of Man had separated from mainland Britain before England became separated from continental Europe. The spread continues today, with Scottish band of hybrids creeping N as black-plumage genes obliterate grey genes. Nominate race intergrades with sharpii in region of Urals. In E Europe and W Asia there is a cline of increasing paleness and smaller size from N to S, but complicated by bleaching, and several other described races are best treated as synonyms: thus, khozaricus (described from S Russia) is synonymized with nominate, and kaukasicus (Caucasus region), sardonius (Sardinia), italicus (Italy) and minos (Crete) are treated as synonyms of sharpii. Extreme S race, pallescens, is at palest end of cline, is relatively small and rather weak-billed, and contrasts markedly with the almost black-and-white, large-billed capellanus of Iraq and extreme SW Iran, suggesting that latter may well have evolved to full species level. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution

Descriptive notes

48–54 cm; 396–602 g. Size, structure and habits are basically as for C. corone. Nominate race has black hood formed by glossy black crown, upper nape,... read more


Much as for C. corone, but a certain amount of regional variation of a fairly varied... read more


Open country with at least scattered trees. Favours mixed farmland, parks and gardens, from city... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous, but chiefly a carnivorous scavenger. Diet varies according to local situations and season, but basically invertebrates,... read more


Season commences late Mar in Britain, peak egg-laying mid-Apr; at S limit of range, eggs from end of Jan in Egypt, Feb in Israel and... read more


Resident in W & S; N and interior birds move S in autumn (Sept–Nov) to varying degrees,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Abundant, with apparent population increases over recent decades in most European countries, most notable being its spread into cities from the... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 July 2019).