Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis)


French: Corbeau brun German: Wüstenrabe Spanish: Cuervo desertícola

Corvus ruficollis


, 1831,

Santiago, Cape Verde Islands


Closely related to C. edithae (which see) and C. albus. Isolated population on Socotra (relatively large birds) might be a separate race. Monotypic.


Desert regions of C Asia, N Africa and Middle East: S & C Kazakhstan S in plains to Turkmenistan and probably SW Tajikistan; Cape Verde Is; from S Morocco, Algeria (except N) and S Tunisia S to Mauritania and N Senegal, E to Libya (except N), N Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, N Nigeria, C Chad, Egypt (including Sinai), N & C Sudan and W Eritrea; Israel and Jordan S throughout Arabian Peninsula, E through S Syria, C & S Iraq and S & E Iran to SW Pakistan (Makran coast) and plains of N Afghanistan (probably also extreme SW Afghanistan, in Seistan); Socotra I (off NE Somalia).

Descriptive notes

52–56 cm; 500–647 g. Large corvid with distinctly elongated and pointed throat hackles often slightly forked at tip. Plumage is mostly blackish, glossed dark... read more


Typical call a dry, flat "aarg-aarg-aarg" of varying intensity, often reminiscent of the... read more


Semi-desert and desert plains, mountain foothills including desert cultivation, dry savanna and... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous; mainly carnivorous. Takes wide range of terrestrial invertebrates and vertebrates, from molluscs, locusts and crickets (... read more


Eggs reported mid-Mar to Jun in Turkmenistan, Dec–Mar in Arabia, Feb–Mar in Israel, Feb–Apr over most of N Africa, Dec... read more


Sedentary in most of range. In C Asia, many from N populations of Kazakhstan move S in Oct,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and common throughout extensive range. Reported as increasing in some areas owing to improved desert farming techniques; in Israel has... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2020). Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis). 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 on 26 January 2020).