Friday, 26 June 2009

Crows At Reddish Vale

Carrion Crow
Corvus corone

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While I was sat eating a snack I became aware of being watched from above... by this beauty of a Carrion Crow. These crows are large birds with glossy black feathers, thick blunt bills and a smooth plumage.

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I shared a bit of bread with this one and it was happy to come quite close. They get their name from scavenging the carcases of dead animals. I see these on my travels quite a lot, picking at road kill.

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These are very crafty birds, in the breeding season they will watch other birds building their nests and later raid the nests for eggs and chicks.

Jay

Garrulus glandarius

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While I was breaking bread with the Crow it's more colourful cousin the Jay turned up nearby. They are mostly a pinkish brown bird, the underparts being slightly paler. The head has a black and white flecked crown, black moustache and white throat. A white rump which contrasts with the black tail. The iris of the eye is a pale blue, the bill is black and the legs are pinky brown. The wings are mostly black but have white patches and have striking blue patches, and close to these wing patches are beautiful bands of graduated shades of blue.

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These are shy birds so I counted myself very lucky to have one so close by. Jays feed on acorns, beech mast, fruits, insects, small rodents, bats, newts, birds' eggs and young birds. I watched this one eat a snail after breaking the shell by bashing it on the ground.

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Jay's along with other crows are still persecuted by gamekeepers in its traditional habitat as it takes eggs and young from the nests of game birds. It was often sought out by fishermen who used its brightly coloured feathers for fly-fishing.

More from the area again tomorrow.. the more I visit this place the more I like it.

7 comments:

Carolyn said...

Great photos Tom. We have lots of crows and at the moment the young are driving us all nuts. The fledglings are constantly hungry and constantly squawking for food. For about 3 weeks the babes are all over town and they never stop squawking! Our jay is the Steller's Jay and is a dark blue black, outside of the crest on its head there are no markings...and they are anything but shy around here. Very noisy and they mimic other birds. i.e. the will mimic the red tail hawk call to scare the other birds out of the berry patches! Thanks for your post and making me more aware of our scoundrels!
Smiles

The Duck said...

Ooooooooooooooh Uncle Tom! hasn't he got big eyes? All the better to see your crimbs with! lol!

The Duck said...

oops I meant crumbs!

Neal said...

As a kid I tried to kill every crow I seen. They can and will destroy a corn crop....going down a row and pulling it up right after it comes up.

Tom said...

Hello Duck... thanks for flying over here today I will return your visit.

Hi Neal...
I have heard tales such as this before... any farmer who as let me and certain friends I know shoot on their land have done so on the condition that we shot any crows we saw. Farmers hate them for sure.

imac said...

A lot of crows today Tom Wiggers, you ol crow.lol.
Love to Jane.

Deslilas said...

Very fine place, such lovely birds, your pics and explanations are always gorgeous and love filled.
Thanks.