Species group: Corvidae
Other common names: N/A
Scientific name: Corvus corone
The Carrion Crow is the widespread black crow of Europe and eastern Asia. Although it has a well-deserved reputation as a highly intelligent bird, its black feathers and challenging diet mean that it's fairly rare in captivity. Most people who keep this species are probably caring for rescue birds.
This crow is a very close relative of the Hooded Crow -- so close that at one point they were classified as two members of the same species. Both species are alert, intelligent birds who are aware of humans and learn to recognize the faces of both friends and enemies.
A sturdy black crow.
500 grams (18 oz.)
46 - 53 centimeters (18 - 21 in.)
A baby Carrion Crow imprinted on human owner from an early age can become a bold, friendly pet who may even try to learn a few words They have a reputation for stealing small shiny items like jewelry and keys.
One downside of these powerful crows: Some of them have been known to give a painful and potentially dangerous bite.
Carrion Crows deserve the largest flight or aviary that you can reasonably provide, with plenty of enrichment items like toys and swings to capture its imagination. The aviary or playpen needs to be located where these highly social birds can enjoy your companionship throughout the day.
Some people in the past have free flown imprinted birds, allowing them to offer a somewhat smaller sleep cage. However, you need to be alert to keep your curious crow out of trouble. Like other corvids, they are well-known for stealing and hiding shiny objects, including jewelry.
Crows may be particularly vulnerable to West Nile Virus and should be kept in aviaries that are protected from mosquitoes.
Carrion Crows are omnivorous birds who demand a protein-rich diet including live grubs, eggs, and tiny whole vertebrates in addition to green food, carrion, grain, and fruit. A captive diet could include a low iron softbill crumble supplemented with mealworms, crickets, and other insects as well as treats like cooked chicken, chopped grapes, tiny pinky mice, and more.
Written by Elaine Radford