Carrion Crow – 2003-07 breeding

Corvus corone – BRAN DYDDYN – Breeding resident.

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed390354
Breeding probable2251
Breeding possible4748
No of tetrads occupied459 (of 478)453 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads96%92.4%

The all black appearance of the Carrion Crow means it is easily confused with the Rook. The curved bill and lack of a bare throat differentiates it from the Rook, as does the call and keeping its nest in a discrete territory rather than in a colony. The bulky stick nest, placed high in a tree, is usually conspicuous before leaves appear. In Pembrokeshire they also nest on cliff ledges.

The estimate that accompanied the 1984-88 survey was based on the distances between nests in a small number of random localities. With no other information available at the time, this was used to calculate a county total breeding population of 18,000–21,000 pairs. With the benefit of hindsight this is now considered to be an inflated total. The 1988-91 National Atlas showed Pembrokeshire contained Carrion Crows at maximum abundance and if their UK average density is adjusted to allow for this, suggests a county population of about 10,000 pairs, which seems realistic. The 2003-07 survey found no marked difference in distribution from the 1984-88 survey, so there has probably been no change in the size of the population.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Carrion Crow in Pembrokeshire