Hawaiian Crow

The Hawaiian Crow (Corvus hawaiiensis) is an interesting species about the size (48-50 cm in length) of the Carrion Crow but with more rounded wings and a much thicker bill. The plumage is soft and lax in texture and it has long, bristly throat feathers. The overall color is a brownish-black becoming browner in more worn plumage. The feet, legs and bill are black.

This species is only found only on the island of Hawaii in secluded valleys and ravines of open park-like mountainous forests. Once a relatively abundant species, its population ha snow been dangerously reduced most likely brought about by more than one factor. This still seems strange for such a strong flying, and resourceful creature but introduced disease (probably one factor) is no respecter of an animal’s ability to survive and its numbers have reached a critical level that it may not come back from due to its reduced gene pool.

It forages for food both in trees and on the ground. Carrion is included as well as all manner of introduced human food and scraps. Eggs and nestlings (including those of introduced birds) are taken and all manner of small creatures are caught and eaten. Fruits are taken, both native and introduced and bark is prized off trees to get at insects beneath.

Nests are always built in trees both by the male and female and can be placed in quite remote sites, sometimes well away from other trees, though usually in open woodland amongst a tangle of tree creepers. There are typically 5 eggs laid and are incubated by either parent with the bird off duty usually sitting quietly near its brooding mate.

The voice is varied but has been described as a two-toned caw or even a screech with lower tones added like a cat’s meeow. It also makes a ca-wak sound.