Alternative names: Cape Rook; African Rook; African Crow; Black Crow
- Corvus capensis
48-50 cm (19-19¾ in). A large crow with a distinctive head-and-bill shape
- Flat forecrown, slim pointed bill with decurved culmen and prominent throat hackles
- Plumage completely black with purple iridescence, coppery-purple glossed head
- Dark iris
- Grey bill, legs and feet
Sexes similar. Juveniles have a softer and dull sooty brown plumage.
The two subspecies differ mainly in size (kordofanensis being smaller).
Differs from Ethiopian Raven by slender bill and flat forecrown.
Eastern and southern Africa.
Common and widespread.
- C. c. capensis from Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe south to South Africa, eSwatini and Lesotho. May occur in Mozambique.
- C. c. kordofanensis in southeast Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya and extreme north Tanzania
Open grassland, moorland, agricultural areas with some trees, woodland.
Tends to occur inland.
The diet includes grain, seeds, invertebrates, eggs and chicks, birds, frogs, small reptiles, fruits and berries. Feeds sometimes on carrion.
Breeding season varies with local rains. The nest is placed near the top of a tree. The 3-4 eggs are incubated for 18-19 days; the young fledge at around 38 days. The nest is sometimes parasitized by Great Spotted Cuckoo.
Voice: krrah.....krrah.....krrah or a quicker kah-kah-kah.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Cape Crow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 5 December 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Cape_Crow