Family Crows (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos)


Taxonomy

French: Corbeau à gros bec German: Dschungelkrähe Spanish: Cuervo picudo
Taxonomy:

Corvus Macrorhynchos

Wagler

, 1827,

Java

.

Formerly included in C. coronoides, and listed as C. levaillantii in some older literature. Vocal and morphometric variation has produced recent strong trend to elevate many taxa to species level; nevertheless, while break-up almost inevitable, it seems preferable to await a comprehensive integrative review that can establish fully evidence-based species limits. Small race culminatus differs most strongly from all other forms owing to its much higher-pitched voice and more grating than nasal tones, but in recent study four species tentatively proposed: “C. japonensis” (with races mandshuricus, connectens, osai, tibetosinensis and intermedius), “C. levaillantii” (with culminatus and colonorum), “C. macrorhynchos” and “C. philippinus”. Subsequently, however, osai and connectens found to be not closely related to N Japanese forms, and, indeed, japonensis and mandshuricus behave as two species where they meet in C Sakhalin; furthermore, vocal repertoire of osai includes short, emphatic “quacking” calls that are higher-pitched than calls of other races. Race intermedius intergrades with tibetosinensis. Other proposed races are hondoensis and borealis (subsumed into japonensis), andamanensis (in levaillantii), anthracinus (in culminatus), hassi, mengtszensis and hainanus (in colonorum) and timoriensis (in nominate). One or two of these, especially anthracinus (Sri Lanka) and andamanensis (Andamans), could well be resurrected following review. Eleven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. intermedius Adams, 1859 – E Afghanistan and W & N Pakistan E along Himalayas to S Xizang and N Nepal.
  • C. m. tibetosinensis O. Kleinschmidt & Weigold, 1922 – E & SE Tibetan Plateau and E Himalayas (E from Bhutan) E to N & NE Myanmar and extreme S China (S Qinghai S to Yunnan).
  • C. m. colonorum Swinhoe, 1864 – E, C & S China, Taiwan, Hainan and N Indochina.
  • C. m. mandshuricus Buturlin, 1913 – Russian Far East, N Sakhalin, Korea and NE China (S to Hebei); breeding recorded also in Transbaikalia.
  • C. m. japonensis Bonaparte, 1850 – Northern Jungle Crow – C & S Sakhalin, S Kuril Is and Japan (S to Kyushu and Osumi Is).
  • C. m. connectens Stresemann, 1916 – Amami-Oshima and N Ryukyu Is (Japan).
  • C. m. osai Ogawa, 1905 – Yaeyama Jungle Crow – S Ryukyu Is.
  • C. m. culminatus Sykes, 1832 – Indian Jungle Crow – peninsular India, SW Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • C. m. levaillantii Lesson, 1831 – Eastern Jungle Crow – SE Nepal, Bangladesh, NE India, Andaman Is, Myanmar and Thailand E to C & S Indochina and S to N Malay Peninsula.
  • C. m. macrorhynchos Wagler, 1827 – Southern Jungle Crow – C & S Malay Peninsula and Sundas E to Romang and Sermata#R.
  • C. m. philippinus (Bonaparte, 1853) – Philippine Jungle Crow – Philippine Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    46–59 cm; 450–1000 g. A medium-sized to large crow, varying much in size, with relatively long, dagger-like bill with somewhat arching culmen (most marked in... read more

    Voice

    In need of comparative analysis. Complex, with degree of variation within vocabulary of each taxon... read more

    Habitat

    Forests and woodland of all types across its wide range. In far N (in Amurland and on Sakhalin)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous scavenger. Takes carrion of all kinds, by foraging along shorelines and roadsides, stealing food items from vulture nests (food... read more

    Breeding

    Egg-laying begins at almost any time of year over such an extensive range. Eggs recorded late Apr in Amurland (mandshuricus),... read more

    Movements

    Generally regarded as sedentary, but presumably wanders to a degree; sporadic observations on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and quite numerous over most of its range. Few reports from Borneo, where rare; several specimens collected there in the past. Statements... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2017). Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/60796 on 23 September 2017).