Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Grey Crow (Corvus tristis)


French: Corneille grise German: Greisenkrähe Spanish: Cuervo gris

Corvus tristis

Lesson and Garnot

, 1827,

Dorey Harbour, New Guinea


Sister to C. fuscicapillus, based on genetic study#R. Monotypic.


New Guinea, except lowlands of Trans-Fly; also West Papuan Is (Salawati, Batanta), Yapen I (in Geelvink Bay) and D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago.

Descriptive notes

51–56 cm; one bird 635 g. Medium-sized, long-tailed, scruffy crow with stout bill and bare pink facial skin; sparse nasal and rictal bristles. Plumage is variable,... read more


Series of plaintive, startled, rising caws, resembling yelping when several birds in chorus. Also... read more


Primary rainforest, forest edge, secondary growth, gardens, swamp-forest; lowlands to 1500 m.... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds mainly on fruits in forest canopy; also takes insects, especially when raising young, and sometimes scavenges. Forages often in noisy... read more


Poorly known. Apparently breeds through dry season (austral autumn-spring); two nests found in Mar, nestlings in Oct to early Dec, and... read more


Resident; flocks apparently locally mobile.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common to common, and widespread. Often observed in flocks of up to ten individuals, rarely up to 50.

Recommended citation

Debus, S. (2020). Grey Crow (Corvus tristis). 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 24 February 2020).