New Caledonian Crow

The New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) is a moderately sized crow (40 cm in length) similar in size to the House Crow but less slender. Its plumage is all black with a rich gloss of purple, dark blue and some green in good light. The bill, feet and legs are also all black. The bill is of moderate size but is unusual in that the tip of the lower is angled up making it somewhat chisel-like in profile.

This bird is endemic to the island of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands in the Pacific, living in primary forest.

It is one of a small group of animals now accepted in scientific study to be not only a tool-user, but a tool-maker. The New Caledonian Crow is also the only non-human species currently known to spontaneously make tools out of materials it does not encounter in the wild. It eats a very wide range of food items including many types of insects and other invertebrates (some caught in flight), eggs and nestlings, snails (which it drops from a height onto hard stones), and various nuts and seeds. It is known for using plant material to manufacture hooks or barbs for extracting grubs from inside logs and branches. It shows great resourcefulness in its search for food.

The nest is built high in a tree with usually only 2 eggs laid from September to November.

The voice is described as a soft waa-waa or wak-wak, sometimes a hoarse waaaaw.