Crows

20100303_098_rook_1200

Rooks & jackdaws arriving at a roost just after dark in the autumn.

The corvids are the crow family: as well as ravens and crows, it includes jackdaws, choughs, magpies, jays and nutcrackers. And they’re a garrulous lot.

They belong to the passerine order – perching birds. Generally passerines are ‘songbirds’ and, despite their raucous calling voices, crows sing. It tends to be rather quiet and introverted, a soliloquy, that would often be called subsong: a stream of soft chuckles, squeals, clucks, moans, sighs and wheezes. Almost chattering; but, at least in some of these species, there can be some beautifully pure-toned notes, almost like drops of water. And they can be good mimics, especially jays.

Legend has it that you can get a jackdaw to talk by splitting its tongue with a sharpened sixpence.

Rooks respond to icefall.

Jays pretending to be buzzards?