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Brown-necked Raven

Brown-necked Raven

Scientific classification
Binomial name
Corvus ruficollis
The Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis) is a larger bird than the Carrion Crow though not as large as the Common Raven. It has similar proportions to the Raven but the bill is not so large or deep and the wings tend to be a little more pointed in profile. The head and throat are a distinct brownish-black giving the bird it's English name while the rest of the plumage is black glossed with purple, blue or purplish-blue. The feathers of this species often fade quite quickly to a brownish black (even the truly black feathers) and the bird can look distinctly brown by the time it moults. The feet, legs and bill are black. There is a sub-species of this bird called the Dwarf Raven (Corvus ruficollis edithae) which is about the size of the Carrion Crow. It comes from Somalia.

This species has a wide range across virtually the whole of North Africa, down as far as Kenya, the Arabian peninsula and up into the Middle East and southern Iran. It lives in a predominantly desert environment visiting oases and palm groves.

Food consists of a wide range of items including carrion, snakes, locusts and other grasshoppers, stranded fish (in coastal areas) and grain stolen from bags, dates and other fruits. It is quite fearless when not persecuted but is quick to become wary and shy if too much attention is paid to it.

The nest is very like the Common Ravens nesting in trees, cliffs or old and ruined buildings. The Dwarf Raven seems to prefer thorn trees for it's nest building. There are usually 4-5 eggs laid and incubated over 20-22 days. The young usually leave the nest by the 37th or 38th day and can fly well by 42-45 days.

The voice is also very similar to the Common Ravens being made of croaks, though higher in pitch and a harsh karr-karr-karr very like a Carrion Crow too. In flight, it will utter a kuerk-kuerk call.