|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The Pied Crow (Corvus albus) is a widely distributed African bird species in the crow genus.|
Structurally, the Pied Crow is better thought of as a small crow-sized Raven (except the lack of throat hackles, fan-shaped tail and other more crow-like traits), especially as it can hybridise with the Somali crow(sometimes called the Dwarf Raven) where their ranges meet in the Horn of Africa. Its behaviour, though, is more typical of the Eurasian carrion crows, and it may be a modern link (along with the Somali Crow) between the Eurasian crows and the Common Raven.
It is approximately the size of the European Carrion Crow (46–52 cm in length) but has a longer bill, slightly longer tail and wings, and longer legs. As its name suggests, its glossy black head and neck are interrupted by a large area of white feathering from the shoulders down to the lower breast but the tail, bill and wings are black. The eyes of a fully matured bird are dark brown. The white plumage of immature birds is often mixed with black. It resembles the White-necked and Thick-billed Ravens but is much smaller, less stocky and has a smaller bill.
• Length 46 – 52 cm
• Wingspan 85 to 98 cm
• Weight 520 g
In southern Africa the range overlaps with the White-necked Raven. The Pied Crow is smaller and has a white chest and belly with a black, more delicate beak compared to the black chest and belly of the larger White-necked Raven which also has a white tipped and weightier beak.
The voice is described as a harsh "ar-ar-ar-ar" or "karh-karh-karh" and lacks the whispering note of the White-necked Raven.
The pied crow was first described in 1776 by Statius Muller. Its specific name is the Latin adjective albus, meaning "white".
Distribution and habitat
This species, Africa's most widespread member of the genus Corvus, occurs from Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically Senegal, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea down to the Cape of Good Hope and on the large island of Madagascar, the Comoros islands, Aldabra group islands, Zanzibar, Pemba and Fernando Po. It inhabits mainly open country with villages and towns nearby. It does not occur in the equatorial rainforest region. It is rarely seen very far from human habitation, though it is not as tied to the urban way of life as the House Crow (Corvus splendens) of Asia, and may be encountered far from human habitation in Eritrea.
Pied Crows are generally encountered in pairs or small groups, although an abundant source of food may bring large numbers of birds. The species behaves in a similar manner to the hooded and carrion crows. In Dakar, birds have been observed mobbing passing Ospreys and Snake Eagles but avoiding Black Kites.
All of its food is obtained from the ground such as insects and other small invertebrates, small reptiles, small mammals, young birds and eggs, grain, peanuts, carrion and any scraps of human food and sometimes fruit and even mushrooms. It has been recorded killing and eating roosting bats and is frequently seen scavenging around slaughterhouses in large numbers.
The nest is usually built in tall, isolated trees, though sometimes smaller ones are used, depending on availability. The cross supports of telephone poles are also frequently used, and both sexes build the nest. A clutch of 3–6 eggs is laid from September to November (depending on latitude) and are pale green spotted with various shades of brown. The eggs are normally covered when the incubating female leaves the nest. Incubation is 18–19 days and the young are usually fledged by around 45 days. Both sexes rear the young.
ramthakur, marius-secan, Hotelcalifornia, anel has marked this note useful
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I like the white on this African Crow, Peter.
The ones we have here in India are much less attractive with their drab black and grey colours.
wat apart die 2 kleuren
ken wel die bruine maar wit die heb ik nog niet gezien
dus nu wel ,prachtige foto met veel scherpte en details
bedankt weer gr lou
- [2016-08-03 8:34]
Hi Peter,one of the most common birds there,but always difficult to take so well.An excellent capture of the black plumage in a perfect exposure and nice pose walking too,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely crow in nice pose, fine details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
Thanks for visiting my gallery, This is a very interesting bird despite she is a Crow, this bird looks like the European Magpie...the same colors and shape except the tail.....
- [2016-08-03 14:35]
A beautifully marked crow displaying excellent detail. Reminds me somewhat of the Hooded Crows I saw in Israel this spring. The exposure is perfect and you managed to obtain wonderful eye contact. A rather stout looking bird with a heavy beak.
great portrait, greeitngs Ori
Very well captured this Crow. I have seen this species when it was flying and captured using my 70-300, but it was so far! Very good details and color. Well BG too.
Thanks for sharing,
- [2016-08-09 5:01]
A most interesting bird with its beautiful plumage.I never had heard about Corvus albus before.
Thanks too for the note.