The Hawaiian Crow, Corvus hawaiiensis, also known as ´Alala to the Native Hawaiians, is a species of bird about the size of the Carrion Crow (48-50 cm [18.9-19.69 in] in length), but with more rounded wings and a much thicker bill. It has soft, brownish-black plumage, with long, bristly throat feathers; the feet, legs and bill are black.
Distribution and habitat
The species is now extinct in the wild. Prior to this, the species was only found on the island of Hawaii in open park-like montane forest. However, fossil remains indicate that it previously occurred in relative abundance on all the main islands, along with two other extinct crow species. The species is known for strong flying ability and resourcefulness, and the reasons for its extinction are not fully understood. It is thought that introduced disease was probably a significant factor in the species' decline.
In the wild, Hawaiian Crows consumed a varied diet, including carrion, eggs and nestlings, other small creatures, fruits, and even human food and scraps. The birds were also known to pry bark off trees to uncover the insects beneath.
Hawaiian Crows have a call variously described as a two-toned caw and as a screech with lower tones added, similar to a cat's meow. They also make a ca-wak sound and a complex, burbling song, as well as various other sounds.
The last two known wild individuals of this species disappeared in 2002; the species is now classified as Extinct in the Wild. While some individuals remain in captive breeding facilities, attempts to reintroduce captive-bred birds into the wild have been hampered by predation by the Hawaiian Hawk, which is itself listed as 'Near Threatened'.
Closeup of a Hawaiian Crow