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Black and white crow

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malpals | 18:26 Sun 24th Feb 2008 | Animals & Nature
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We have a huge tree in a field which is home to hundreds of crows. Recently a rather strange looking crow has appeared. He is white underneath his wings. The strange thing is, is that the other crows seem to be a bit afraid of him and let him get the best bits of bread. He's always on his own. The magpies who usually feed with the crows don't seem to like him either. It's rather sad. Has anyone ever seen a black and white crow before?

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Always found that last years babies tend to have a lot of white on them until their first moult this spring.
We have a regular visitor of a blackbird which has a pure white strip of feathers down it's back.
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So I haven't discovered a rare phenomenon then?!!!
First of all- hundreds of crows are more than likely rooks. Crows are solitary- they are usually seen alone or in pairs. Rooks tend to live in large colonies.

Secondly- albinism or part albinism- is quite common in birds. Often they are seen as 'different' by others of the same species, particularly those living in large flocks, and shunned.

Another option- where do you live? If you are still sure they are crows then there is always the possibility of a carrion crow/hooded crow hybrid. The hoodie is a subspecies of the crow and takes over from the all black crow north of Glasgow. The hoodie has a lot of grey plumage - see http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name /h/hoodedcrow/
Where the two species overlap you can get interbreeding which gives various combinations of grey and black plumage
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I'm almost 100% certain that they are crows. They all live in the same tree. They all leave together in the morning and they all come home more or less at the same time each evening. SOmetimes they come home for lunch but not all the time! Some are around during the day but usually when I put bread etc out only about 10 - 12 appear. They are absolutely fascinating. I don't know if there are lots and lots of nests in the tree because I can't get to it. We live in North Wales. Interestingly, when I worked at the University we adopted a crow who couldn't fly. He stayed with us for a couple of years before finaly getting attacked and killed. He would eat from our hands!
If the all live together in the same tree then they are most likely rooks - crows are ususally on their own although they can congregate in winter, so it is possible - it could be hooded carrion crow, but the colouring of the belly etc isusually grey rather than white. Are you near water? Could it be an oystercatcher?
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I'm going to investigate them further. I've always thought they were crows. My Dad says that they're not rooks. but perhaps then, they are. They're not oystercatchers. Thanks you all for your interest and answers.
I have seen thousands of black and white crows. You are on holiday in Australia. aren't you?

http://images.google.co.nz/images?q=australian +magpie&hl=en&client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=o rg.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=eQQ&um=1&ie=UTF-8 &sa=X&oi=images&ct=title

In New Zealand they have a similar one but with more black on the back.
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They're amazing Wildwood.
Have a look at this ,malpals, as it shows comparison pictures of a rook and crow:

http://fenlandwalker.blogspot.com/2008/01/crow -or-rook.html

Generally speaking a black crow on its own will be that - a crow, whilst a crowd of crows will be rooks, but.....to make things more complicated crows sometimes roost together in small flocks. Crows make solitary nests, Rooks in a tightly knit Rookery - and very noisily! The latter will be nesting at the end of this month or the beginning of March depending on where you live.
I like rooks and crows, they are quite clever birds. I have a lot where I live and have regular visitors to my garden. I also live by the sea and there are a group of rooks that live in the harbourside scavenging for holidaymakers snacks and bits of washed up fish. I take peanuts down to them and they catch them in their beaks as I throw them. I tend to do a lot of photography and they are always taking part in my photographs.
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I agree Jenga. They're real characters.
Perhaps it is a Hybrid Carrion x Hooded Crow? http://www.birdsireland.com/images/2007/march/ cariron01.jpg
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I don't know how to tell you all this now - a neighbour says that they're jackdaws! I know we've got some jackdaws in our (not working) chimney. They're there every year. Now I'm even more confused! I'm going to put some bread out so I can get a GOOD look at them. Watch this space!!

Hi,
Strange this. I have just been searching the net for 'black & white crow' after seeing something just as you describe today in a field around the Broxton Roundabout on the A41 between Whitchurch & Chester. It was with another crow/raven/rook etc bird, which looked (apart from the white bits) identical and flew identically to the black & white one which was following it. It was DEFINITELY not a Magpie or Hooded Crow (I have seen Hooded crows in Scotland).
The white sections were in stark contrast to the black, clear thickish white stripes under the wings and also around the tail section. But I say again, definitely NOT a Magpie as it flew differently and the tail wasn't fanned as they are.
It isn't a Jackdaw either I don't think as the white is too bright.
Very strange bird, but lovely. I'm wondering if might be the same bird as it is near to North Wales?
I hope you find out what it is.
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I doubt whether it's the exact same bird. Have a look at somebody else's posting saying that they're not that rare. Although strangely enough, I haven't seen him for a few days so he may have relocated! I hope the other birds haven't killed him - they definitely don't like him.

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