Author Topic: Corvid Distribution  (Read 4806 times)

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Offline Highlander

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 01:45:34 PM »
Been an explosion here in Renfrewshire over the last years or so. My take is that the habitat in these "new" towns suits them what with the tree types &  heights there off being suitable nesting sites. Maggies as many will know don't nest high & the abundance of Fir planting in new housing areas are about the right height now in many places. That coupled with more people putting out "wild bird feeding stations" attracts them too. Jackdaws here are more common than these used to be.
One thing I will say about the Magpie is that it is a "bad bastard" The pair that visits my garden for food I saw the bigger male kill a young starling, literally pecked it to death.
An attractive bird never the less for all it's bravado

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2013, 11:51:57 AM »
Not sure I get the distinction between carrion crows and hoodies. Are they not just geographical variants of the same species?  Where they overlap the interbreed and produce fertile offspring.
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Offline Buanán

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2013, 11:59:23 AM »
Magpies have greatly increased numerically in some parts of the country, not here though.

I was once driving out of Larne in ulster over the hill to Ballymena and had to stop for a pee.  I'd noticed a couple of magpies at some carrion a little further ahead fly off as I got out. As I got back into the car I made a couple of calls on my then new mobile, actually my first, the magpies returned.

As I sat there chatting more magpies turned up, then a couple more, and then more, until there were 16 or so. It turned out that the carrion they were at was a road killed fox. There were so many birds frenzying around this corpse that they actually managed to lift the remains of the fox off the road and onto the verge proper, quite a scene, worthy of Hitchcock. As I drove on past this "tidings" of magpies stayed at their wings and kept chomping and fighting with each other, the white of their plumage red with fox's blood and gore.

Despite not having much experience of magpies I knew they ate carrion, just hadn't pictured them ever being so keen to gather in such numbers or being that vigorous in their culinary habits. That changed my view of magpies, and some  :shock:

Hoodies and carrion Crows are distinct varieties of the same species.

Offline burnie

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2013, 12:05:14 PM »


Hoodies and carrion Crows are distinct varieties of the same species.

There's some less distinct looking cross breeds about too, but then there's some sort of colour variations in a lot of birds and troots too for that matter. There's a few odd looking coloured Crows around Angus this past couple of years. The "proper Hoodies" do tend to be to the left of the A9 though.
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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 12:06:09 PM »
Great story Willie!  :D

I really like crows, top birds, highly intelligent in a birdy sort of way.  I do find it a bit odd when we express shock and horror at their predatory nature that is after all their successful survival strategy, then in the next breath we go fishing  or shooting for fun!    :D
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Offline burnie

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 01:41:51 PM »
Magpies can have as many as 8 or 10 young in a nest and hang around together untill this sort of time of year in family groups, so not unusual to see large gatherings.
My late Uncle had a pet Carrion Crow when we were kids, he found it after it was blown out of a nest, it eventually went back to the wild. Very tame it would sit on your shoulder like a pirates parrot. I picked up a couple of Rooks when my kids were young, but they never became tame, completely different behavior, Magpies do make pets I am told, but very troublesome ones.
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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2013, 01:49:44 PM »
They produce fertile "hybrids" so they are so genetically similar as makes little real  difference. The plant world is also full of such examples. In the world  of taxonomy lumpers and splitters seldom agree on much and  taxa change like the weather .   Whatever we believe, I doubt very much that  it makes much odds to the crows when they meet up, mate and have kids.  If such minute differences were applied to human kind the scientists would quickly  be labeled racists.
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Offline admin

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2013, 02:25:40 PM »
You are right, nothing in life is set in stone Liam. I have seen plants come and go from species to sub species  and some  family  names  changed because of some anal botanist trying to make a name for himself.   Cruciferae  changed to Brassicaceae,   Compositae changed to Asteraceae both great visually descriptive names lost. These annoyed a lot of plants people. It goes on and will continue to. I suppose now that we have the science of genetic analysis it makes it clearer, but as I said I wonder when the first scientist will start classifying humans  the way they do the humble hoodie.
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Offline zeolite

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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2013, 03:10:48 PM »
"Now try doing taxonomy on 165 million year old fossils"

You are right, nothing in life is set in stone Liam.

I would appluad you Fred if I thought you did it deliberately!  :makefun
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Re: Corvid Distribution
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2013, 03:41:58 PM »
I would appluad you Fred if I thought you did it deliberately!  :makefun

  :roflmao
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