Nuisance Birds - The Crow Family

The crow family (Corvids) are a family of birds that include crows, rooks, ravens, jackdaws, jays, magpies. The crow family is a group of medium to large birds usually black in appearance and are among the most intelligent and sociable birds in the UK congregating in large numbers and breeding in rookery’s. Eight species of the crow family breed in the UK although there are many more worldwide, nesting is usually from March onwards. The crow family is frequently a nuisance to residents, agriculture and even airports where their presence is a high risk. There are however means to prevent the crows being a problem.

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Problems associated with the crow family

The Corvid Family


CarrionCarrion Crow

The carrion crow is all black and in an all year round resident of the UK. There are about 1m breeding pairs and they can be found in urban areas and throughout the countryside. They feed on insects, worms, seeds and being an effective scavenger carrion  – you may see them hoping onto roads feeding on the carrion from roadkill.


Rook in a ParkRooks

There are over 1,140,000 breeding pairs of rooks in the UK, found primarily in rural areas and on the edge of small towns and villages. Extremely sociable birds, they form rookeries high in tree tops, numbering hundreds – even thousands of birds and are often confused with the carrion crow, which is a solitary bird often found alone or in pairs.


Jackdaw in a gardenJackdaw

The jackdaw differs in appearance as it is small and has a distinctive silvery sheen to the back of its head as well as pale eyes. Jackdaws are usually found in rural areas roosting communally in woodland and are present all year round in the UK. Their diet consists of insects, bird eggs fruit, seeds and scraps and have also been knwo to eat young birds.


Raven at the Tower of LondonRaven

The Raven is the largest member of the crow family and is completely black. The Raven is mound mainly in the west and north west of the UK preferring woodland or rural areas over urban areas. Ravens diet can be wide and varied but mainly consists of carrion. The Raven is unusually intelligent showing an aptitude for problem solving and has been seem playfully passing stones to one another or performing mid-air acrobatics.


Author: NBC Environment/Orkin

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