This is a medium-sized elegant all black crow with bright red legs and a thin, down-curved, bright red bill. It breeds and lives in the mountains of Central Asia and West, discontinuously, to the mountains of Spain, Portugal and Morocco. In the very West of Brittany, Wales, Southern Scotland and much of coast Ireland and all over the Isle of Man there are rather isolated populations.
This is a bird that lives by delicately picking food items from the ground and by probing with its bill for soil invertebrates. It is particularly associated in Britain and Ireland with short rabbit-cropped turf on cliff edges. These are birds that forage in small parties and love flying. Often they seem to be playing in the updraughts and their joyous ringing cry 'Keee-yaah' is a dead give-away. In Britain and Ireland there is a recent welcome increase to a population that was in decline - probably about 1150 pairs with more than two-thirds of them in Ireland.
A medium sized black crow with red legs and bill.
Length 395 mm Closed wing 295 mm Weight 300 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead