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Palm Crow Corvus palmarum


Sometimes separated into Cuban and Hispaniolan species, a proposal that has yet to acquire widespread acceptance, in terms of genetics the Palm Crow is apparently more closely related to ravens than other Caribbean corvids. This is a comparatively small, all-black crow, with purple-blue sheen to the plumage. The Cuban subspecies, C. p. minutus, is slightly smaller and duller than the Hispaniolan nominate form, but their vocalizations are rather similar. Compared to Cuban Crow (Corvus nasicus), which is frequently found in the same areas as the present species, the Palm Crow’s vocals are more typically corvine, somewhat recalling a very distant bleating sheep, and on both islands vocalizations generally offer the most readily appreciated means of distinguishing this from other corvids. The Cuban subspecies is now very rare and confined to just a few, highly disjunct localities on the main island, whereas the Hispaniolan taxon is rather more widespread, despite some recent range contraction, especially in Haiti, and is somewhat more catholic in its habitat requirements. Like other Caribbean crows, this species is omnivorous, taking both invertebrates and fruits, and frequently descends to the ground to feed, sometimes even on roads.

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Calls (Hispaniolan)

© Tom Johnson

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Palm Crow (Corvus palmarum), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: