Friday mystery object #145


Once again I have a genuine mystery object for you to identify this Friday. I have been going through some of the material from the old King’s College Collection in an effort to identify some material with no data that would be suitable for the Horniman’s handling collection.

I found this bird skull that I think would be ideal – I think I know what it is, but I need to make sure that I’m not mistaken and that it isn’t an important or rare species. I will check the identification myself and I will see if you all come to the same conclusions as me about what this is:

Please leave your comments and suggestions below and let’s see what we come up with!

21 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #145

    • That was what I also thought straight away, but then I realised that there are a couple of other contenders that need to be ruled out, just to be sure!

  1. Just to be contrary, I’m going to suggest a hooded crow! It doesn’t look quite right for a magpie or a carrion crow to me.

    Apologies for the lack of crypticness, but I’m too tired to think of something clever, and it seems rather redundant at this point!

  2. I’m opting for the Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) too. The bill does not look heavy enough (top to bottom) for the Carrion Crow and the nares seem a better match. On the other hand, the bone between the eyes (top of skull) is very narrow, and doesn’t seem to match either of these (or anything else).

    • Aha – I’m glad you spotted that narrowing between the eyes – it’s causing me some concern, so the answer may be a little delayed today while I try to work it out!

      • Just looking at some N.American species and found Cyanocorax yncas (Green Jay), which looks like a good match re the narrow eye gap, but is a bit small. I cannot find an image of the larger Cyanocorax morio (Brown Jay) but that may be worth investigating.

  3. I have another jackdaw skull which is only 1 cm between the eyes but that one is minus the bill sheath and only 63mm rather than the 69mm with 12mm between the eyes of the the other one.

  4. Very belatedly, a comment on corvid behaviour. Our garden backs onto a field so we get birds one might not expect. Lately there’s been a rook hanging round with a jackdaw. Quite amusing watching them trying to imitate hummingbirds in order to get food out of the feeders hanging from a tree. They arrive and depart together regularly. But the other day there were also another four more jackdaws with the first.

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