The Cuban Crow, Corvus nasicus, is one of four species of crow that occur on a few key islands in the West Indies. Two of these species (The White-necked Crow, Corvus leucognaphalis and the Jamaican Crow, Corvus jamaicensis) share similar features to the Cuban Crow and are obviously very closely related whilst the third, the Palm Crow differs in certain key features and is a later arrival in evolutionary terms and shows characteristics more akin to the North American species such as the Fish Crow (which it is probably closely related to).
A stocky, medium sized (40-42 cm in length) forest crow, this sociable bird can be found quite commonly over most of the large island of Cuba and on the nearby Isla de Pinos in woodland and areas that have been cleared for agriculture. It is frequently found around farms and villages where it seems to have adapted quite well to living in relatively close contact with man.
The bill of this species is long and deep with a gentle curve towards the tip giving a large headed profile. The nasal bristles sweep forward then upward and frequently reveal the nostrils which are hidden in almost all other members of the genus Corvus. There is a patch of dark grey bare skin behind the browinsh-red eye and at the base of the lower mandible. The black plumage has a bluish-purple gloss in good light. The bill, legs and feet are black.
Food consists of fruit and insects though it does appear to take human food readily and will scavenge for scraps where the opportunity arises. Large noisy flocks can be seen feeding in trees and it will also readily feed on the ground especially where grain and other seeds have been spilt or left unprotected on the surface of a field.
The voice is quite remarkable and is rather un-crow like, with strange liquid bubbling notes and high ringing sounds produced in various combinations. It also produces a thin screetched "aaaaauh" that rises in inflection.
The nest is built in tall trees, though little further information about breeding is recorded as yet.
- Good quality series of images
- Series of photographs
- Cuban Crow videos on the Internet Bird Collection