Joe Botting's picture

Strange corvid call

Hi All. I was out walking over some hills near Llandrindod this afternoon (Bongam Bank), and sat down to admire the view and watch the birds a bit. As I was there, a corvid was flying around, very slowly, gliding into the wind in the way that buzzards like to do. It was entirely black, as far as I could tell, and I filed it away automatically as a carrion crow - although it's worth noting that my bird knowledge is shocking at times, so I could be wrong.

After a while, it returned and started making a big lazy circle around my seat and a clump of trees below; it gave the impression of searching for something. As it approached the trees, it gave a surprisingly musical call; I was so amazed that I wrote it down. It said, "A-auw, a-auw. Wu-wu-wu-wu-wu." It did the same thing as it circled around to the same place again, and eventually flew off, repeating the wu-wu-wu-wu-wu bit.

I've never heard a crow make a noise like it - it wasn't at all harsh. I wondered whether it was calling to offspring or something of that ilk. I also wondered if I was completely nuts, and it wasn't a crow at all. I'm sure it wasn't a different bird making the call, as the pitch changed with the corvid, and the volume changed with distance, especially as it flew away.

Any ideas? I've seen reports of American Crows making surprisingly musical songs, but can ours do it as well?



browntrumpet's picture


Possibly a Raven?
They've got some quite soft calls considering their size.

Joe Botting's picture

Seems likely

Thanks for that. I've been discussing this with others as well, and that does seem to be the consensus, so I'm willing to believe it. I've still not heard a recording of a sound quite like it, so I'll have to go back and try to get a recording - it would be interesting to know who it was talking to... :o)