Plumage black, glossed with blue: nostrils covered by bristly feathers half the length of the bill: tail considerably rounded, extending two inches beyond the folded wings.
C. Corax, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 107. Id. torn. III. p. 56. Raven, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Must. vol. l. p. 346. pl. 27*. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 79.
Entire length two feet one inch: length of the bill two inches nine lines: breadth, wings extended, four feet.
The whole plumage black; the upper parts with purple and blue reflections, beneath less glossy: throat feathers long, loose, and acuminated: bill very strong, black: irides with two circles, the outer one brown, the inner gray: tail very much rounded, much longer than in the next species, reaching about two inches beyond the tips of the folded wings: feet black. According to Low, white varieties have been met with in the Orkneys. (Egg). Pale green ground, spotted and speckled with darker greenish brown: long. diam. two inches; trans, diam. one inch four lines.
The largest species in the genus. Widely dispersed over the country, but not very plentiful. Breeds very early in the year, on steep cliffs, or in large and lofty trees. Nest formed of sticks, and lined with wool, hair, and other substances. Eggs five or six in number. Food small quadrupeds, poultry, game, as well as carrion, and other animal substances. The male and female pair for life, and generally haunt the same spot every year for the purpose of nidification.