Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Little Raven (Corvus mellori)


French: Petit Corbeau German: Gesellschaftskrähe Spanish: Cuervo de Mellor

Corvus marianae mellori


, 1912,

Angas Plains, South Australia


Originally described as a race of C. coronoides (then known as C. marianae), although validity was not widely accepted; recognized as a distinct species in 1967. Proposed race halmaturinus (from Kangaroo I, off South Australia) considered indistinguishable from birds in rest of species’ range. Monotypic.


SE Australia, including Kangaroo I (off South Australia) and King I (in Bass Strait).

Descriptive notes

48–50 cm; male 407–660 g, female 365–660 g. Medium-sized crow with rather slender bill, medium-length bifurcated throat hackles. Plumage is entirely glossy... read more


Series of rather deep (baritone), usually rapid and clipped caws, typically of 7 notes (when... read more


All terrestrial habitat types within range, from alpine (2000 m) to littoral and semi-arid, but... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous predator and scavenger; strongly insectivorous. Feeds mainly on invertebrates, small birds, eggs, nestlings, small mammals and... read more


Laying mainly late winter to spring, mostly early Jul to mid-Nov (peak mid-Aug to early Oct), but can start as early as mid-May and (in... read more


Breeding pairs resident only for duration of breeding cycle, and commute daily to foraging areas up... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Abundant and widespread; has increased in range and numbers with spread of agriculture and urbanization. Benefits from artificial food sources, and... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. (2019). Little Raven (Corvus mellori). 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 9 December 2019).