6. Corvus cornix.
The Hooded Crow.
Corvus cornix, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 156 (1760); Blyth, Cat. i, p. 89; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 553; Hume, S. F. vii, pp. 406, 517; id. Cat. no. 659 bis ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 77. Corone cornix (Linn.), Sharpe, Cut. B. M. iii, p. 31.
Coloration. Entire head and neck, the central part of the upper breast, the wings, tail, and thighs glossy black ; remainder of the plumage drab-grey, the shafts of the upper parts black, those of the lower brown.
Iris brown ; legs, bill, and feet black (Johnson).
Length 19 ; tail 7.5; wing 12.5 ; tarsus 2.2; bill from gape 2 to 2.2.
Varieties. Three races of Hooded Crow can readily be distinguished, and 1 have seen no specimens showing that any interbreeding takes place between them. The true C. comix is found in Europe and eastwards as far as the Persian Gulf. The light parts of the plumage of this bird are ashy grey. 0. capellanus is found round the Persian Gulf and in Mesopotamia. In this the light parts of the plumage are white with black shafts. The third race, which for convenience I shall term C. sharpii, inhabits Siberia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, and a portion of India. In this the light parts of the plumage are drab-grey. The three races are so distinct that any one could separate them at once.
Distribution. Occurs in winter in the extreme north-west portion of the Punjab, in the Hazara country, and in Gilgit. Biddulph observed this species in the last-mentioned place in December, January, and February. It extends westward to the head of the Persian Gulf and northwards to Siberia, where it appears to interbreed to a considerable extent with G. corone.
Habits, &c. The Hooded Crow has much the same habits as the Carrion-Crow, being shy and frequenting the more barren parts of the countries it inhabits. In addition to eating the usual food of its ally, it is said to feed on grain and to be found in fields searching the ground like the Rook. It does not breed in India.