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Thick-billed Raven

Thick-billed Raven

Scientific classification
Binomial name
Corvus crassirostris

The Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris) shares with the Common Raven the accolade of the largest in the family. It has a very large bill that is laterally compressed and is deeply curved in profile giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. This bill is black with a white tip and has deep nasal grooves with only light nasal bristle covers.

It has very short feathers on the head, throat and neck which on the throat and upper breast, have an oily brown gloss. The rest of the bird is glossy black except for a distinctive white patch of short feathers on the nape and onto the neck.

Its range covers Eritrea and Ethiopia; its habitat includes mountains and high plateau between elevations of 1500 to 2400 metres.

It feeds on grubs, beetle larvae from animal dung, carrion, scraps of meat, and other human foods. It has been seen taking standing wheat. When seeking food from dung, it has been seen using a distinct scything movement to scatter the dung and extract the grubs.

It nests in trees and on cliffs, apparently building a stick nest like the similar White-necked Raven. It lays three to five eggs.

Its calls include a harsh nasal croak or a low wheezy croak or sometimes a "phlurk-phlurk" sound.

Image (lithograph) link