Pied Crow - BirdForum Opus

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Alternative names: African Pied Crow; White-bellied Crow

Corvus albus

Identification

45 cm. A large Crow:

  • Black head, neck, tail, bill and wings
  • White collar on upper mantle, broadening on underparts over breast and foreflanks.
  • Dark brown eye

Sexes similar. Juveniles have less glossed black than adults.

Distribution

Photo by Mybs
Stellenbosch area, South Africa, December 2005

Subsaharan Africa and Madagascar.
Absent in most of Ethiopia and Eritrea and another gap in the arid regions of Namibia and Botswana. Records in south Morocco.
Common and widespread in its range.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Forms a superspecies with Brown-necked Raven and is known to hybridize with this species in the northeast of its range.

Habitat

Open country, open woodlands, grasslands, savanna, riverbanks and lakeshores. Often in human habitation including cities.

Behaviour

Diet includes insects and other small invertebrates, small reptiles, small mammals, young birds and eggs, grain, peanuts, carrion and any scraps of human food and fruit. Often seen near roads waiting for kills, also scavenging at rbbish dumps with Black Kites and Marabou Storks.
Usually foraging in paris or small groups. Sometimes larger flocks reported when food is abundant.
Breeding season varies with local rains. The nest is usually built in tall trees. 4-5 pale green brown spotted eggs, are laid. Incubation is 18-19 days and the young are usually fledged by around 45 days. Both sexes rear the young. The nest is sometimes parasitized by Great Spotted Cuckoo.

Vocalisation

The voice is described as a harsh ar-ar-ar-ar or karh-karh-karh.

References

  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. 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

Recommended Citation

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