Body length: 55-65 cm
Body mass: approx. 1 kg
Appearance: black, with massive bill and wedge-shaped or fan-shaped tail.
The largest and heaviest passerine, now present throughout Poland, though once persecuted until confined to just largest forest complexes only (mainly in eastern Poland). Large, solid nest located near apex of tall tree (mostly spruce or pine). Starts breeding early – in February. Monogamous. Carrion forms more than 80% of food intake, though live prey like hares also taken, and nests sometimes plundered. The first species to find carrion, its presence and calls attracting other birds to a carcass. Resident and mainly sedentary.
Descriptions drawing on content of Ptaki Polski (“Birds of Poland”) - a book authored by Andrzej G. Kruszewicz, and published by MULTICO Oficyna Wydawnicza Sp. z o.o.