This ashy grey bird has a black head, throat, wings and tail. It has a croaky, harsh call. The male is the larger bird, but otherwise the sexes are alike. Hooded crows can be seen in pairs in spring and in family groups in summer. They congregate in big flocks in autumn and winter, often with other corvids.
Hooded crows live in Eastern and Northern Europe. They typically prefer residential areas, but also nest along rivers and roads, and on raised bogs.
The hooded crow is omnivorous. It feeds on rodents and beetles and often robs the nests of small birds and ducks. It builds a nest from sticks high in a tree and lines it with fur, bark, scraps of paper or feathers. During the breeding season, the female's tail can be seen sticking out of the nest. The nesting season starts in March and incubation lasts three weeks. The chicks are able to fly at five weeks of age. The young begin to leave the nest in early June. In winter, the birds fly to cities where they forage among waste.