RECORD: Fox, William Darwin. '3 crows to a nest' (5.1868) CUL-DAR84.1.119 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2010. RN1

NOTE: Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
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Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


"3 crows to a nest. A fortnight ago I shot one of a pair of crows which had hatched & were feeding young ones. A few days afterwards I found 3 old Birds busy about the nest, & watching them, there was no doubt they were engaged in feeding the young ones. They have since been too wary to fall to gun or trap; and as the young Birds were nearly ready to fly I have destroyed them. I have known instances before, when a Bird either with eggs or young had lost its mate, of its finding another, but I never before knew or heard of one bringing a pair to its assistance. Did any of your correspondents."


in Field 415 Page - May 23. 1868

This item was incorrectly catalogued as written by A. R. Wallace. It was, however, written by W. D. Fox. See Darwin to Fox 14 May [1868] Correspondence vol. 16, p. 498: "If you can find the mem. about the carrion-crows pray do so." The information about crows was used in Descent vol. 2, p. 104: "The Rev. W. D. Fox, Mr. F. Bond, and others, have shot one of a pair of carrion-crows (Corvus corone), but the nest was soon again tenanted by a pair."

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 2 July, 2012