Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Torresian Crow (Corvus orru)


French: Corbeau de Torres German: Torreskrähe Spanish: Cuervo de Torres
Other common names: Australian Crow

Corvus orru


, 1850,

Lobo, Triton Bay, New Guinea


Until recently considered conspecific with C. insularis. Australian race cecilae formerly regarded as a separate species. Race latirostris might not belong with present species. Other proposed races in Australia are hartogi (Dirk Hartog I, off Western Australia) and probleema (Derby, in N Western Australia), both considered synonyms of cecilae, and queenslandicus (Dawson R, in Queensland), which may be valid but further study required; described race marngli (W Kimberley, in N Western Australia) based on misidentified C. bennetti. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. o. orru Bonaparte, 1850 – Moluccas E to New Guinea, including D’Entrecasteaux Is, Trobriand Is, Woodlark I and Louisiade Archipelago.
  • C. o. latirostris A. B. Meyer, 1884 – Babar and Tanimbar Is (E of Lesser Sundas).
  • C. o. cecilae Mathews, 1912 – W, C & N Australia, including major offshore islands.
  • Descriptive notes

    48–53 cm; male 430–700 g, female 430–650 g. Medium-sized crow with rather stout bill, short throat hackles; compact, blunt-winged and short-tailed in flight... read more


    Series of high-pitched (tenor), nasal, usually rapid and staccato caws, although utters some longer... read more


    All terrestrial habitat types within range, from montane rainforest (1500 m) to littoral. Common in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous predator and scavenger, strongly granivorous. Feeds mainly on invertebrates, small birds, eggs, nestlings, also carrion,... read more


    Recorded in all months in Australia, with eggs Aug–Jun in N and Jun–Dec in S of range; in New Guinea active nests Sept–... read more


    Resident. In humid areas juveniles, immatures and non-breeding adults form mobile, dispersive... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally abundant and widespread; has increased in range and numbers with spread of agriculture and urbanization. Adult breeding pairs have large... read more

    Recommended citation

    Debus, S. (2019). Torresian Crow (Corvus orru). 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 6 December 2019).