Corvus cornix (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Passeriformes > Corvidae
The two tone corvid, the Hooded Crow or 'hoodie' was classified by the British Ornithologists' Union as a distinct species in 2002.
The Hooded Crow is found in the north and north-west of the UK, where it is far more numerous than Carrion Crow. Where ranges of the two overlap, the crows can hybridise and produce offspring resembling a dark, less contrasting Hooded Crow.
This resident species breeds relatively early, from March laying up to six eggs are laid in large twiggy nests lined with wool and/or hair, typically located in trees, crags or pylons. The population trend for the UK is stable, although this is underpinned by recent declines in the Scotland and increases in Northern Ireland.
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Hooded Crow identification is usually straightforward.
Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Hooded Crow, provided by xeno-canto contributors.
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Status and Trends
Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.
The BOU Records Committee took the decision in 2002 to treat Hooded Crow and Carrion Crow as separate species (Parkin et al. 2003). This split is not recognised in BirdLife International's conservation listings. In the UK, Hooded Crows occur in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and in Scotland, mainly west and north of the Great Glen. Retrospective analysis of BBS trends is simple because observers have always recorded Hooded Crows (coded HC) separately from Carrion Crows and from intermediates (coded HB). Intermediate forms between Carrion and Hooded, which predominate in a band across western Scotland and occur less frequently elsewhere in the UK, are not included in either species' BBS index. BBS data suggest that moderate decrease in Hooded Crows has occurred in Scotland, but that this has been countered by a steep increase in Northern Ireland. Hooded Crows had increased markedly in Ireland since 1924 (Hutchinson 1989). The 2007-11 Atlas records little change in the distribution of Hooded Crows but show further incursion of Carrion Crows into northwest Scotland and eastern Ireland (Balmer et al. 2013). There has been an increase among Hooded and Carrion Crows, taken together, across Europe since 1980 (PECBMS: PECBMS 2020a>).
|UK breeding population
|No population change in UK (1995–2020)
Hooded Crows replaces Carrion Crows in Ireland and most of north and west Scotland. In the eastern part of their Scottish range, Hooded Crows overlap with the Carrion Crows and hybrids are common in a narrow hybrid zone which had been shifting north and west as Carrion Crows gained ground in the lowlands.
Occupied 10-km squares in UK
|No. occupied in breeding season
|% occupied in breeding season
|No. occupied in winter
|% occupied in winter
European Distribution Map
Breeding Season Habitats
|Most frequent in
Relative frequency by habitat
Change in occupied 10-km squares in the UK
|% change in range in breeding season (1968–72 to 2008–11)
|% change in range in winter (1981–84 to 2007–11)
Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.
Lifecycle and body size information about Hooded Crow, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.
|Number of Broods
|43×30 mm Weight = 19.8 g (of which 6% is shell)
|2-letter: HC | 5-letter code: HOOCR | Euring: 15673
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Interpretation and scientific publications about Hooded Crow from BTO scientists.
Causes of change
There is little good evidence available regarding the drivers of the breeding population change in this species in the UK.
Further information on causes of change
No further information is available.
Information about conservation actions
Numbers are stable or increasing, hence the Hooded Crow is not a species of concern and no conservation actions are currently required.
As is the case with Carrion Crow, Hooded Crows have been blamed for the declines of other species such as songbirds and waders, leading to calls to control numbers, and legal control of crows still occurs on shooting estates.
Links to more information from ConservationEvidence.com
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