The Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris), a Corvid from the Horn of Africa, shares with the Common Raven the distinction of being the largest in the family (60-64 cm in length and 1.5 kg) and indeed the largest of the bird order Passeriformes (perching birds). It has a very large bill that is laterally compressed and is deeply curved in profile giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. This bill is black with a white tip and has deep nasal grooves with only light nasal bristle covers.
It has very short feathers on the head, throat and neck which on the throat and upper breast, have an oily brown gloss. The rest of the bird is glossy black except for a distinctive white patch of short feathers on the nape and onto the neck.
Distribution and habitat
Its range covers Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia; its habitat includes mountains and high plateau between elevations of 1500 to 3400 metres.
The Thick-billed Raven is omnivorous, feeding on grubs, beetle larvae from animal dung, carrion, scraps of meat, and other human foods. It has been seen taking standing wheat. When seeking food from dung, it has been seen using a distinct scything movement to scatter the dung and extract the grubs.
It nests in trees and on cliffs, apparently building a stick nest like the similar White-necked Raven. It lays three to five eggs.
Its calls include a harsh nasal croak or a low wheezy croak or sometimes a "raven-raven" sometimes their call is a "dink,dink,dink" sound.
External image links
- Pair of birds
- Head shot of birds
- View from below
- Thick-billed Raven videos on the Internet Bird Collection