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White-necked Crow Corvus leucognaphalus


The white bases to the neck feathers, from which this species derives its vernacular name, are rarely visible in the field, and the same is true of the violet sheen to the upperparts. Instead, this relatively long-billed corvid, which is nowadays endemic to the island of Hispaniola, usually appears all black in the field, relieved only by the orange-red irides. The latter feature provides a good distinguishing feature from the otherwise smaller Palm Crow (Corvus palmarum). Compared to the latter species, the White-necked Crow is further separated by its rather wider range of vocalizations, which include a range of laughing, clucking, gurgling, bubbling, and squawking sounds. The species breeds from February to June, and feeds mainly on fruit and seeds, although some small vertebrates and large insects are also taken. The White-necked Crow is still reasonably widespread but generally very uncommon over much of the Dominican Republic, where it occurs from sea level to over 2500 m, but dramatic declines have been noted since the 1930s, and this crow is perhaps even less numerous in Haiti. The species became extirpated on Puerto Rico around the early 1960s. As a result of such range contraction and population decline, BirdLife International now ranks the White-necked Crow as Vulnerable.

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© Andrew Spencer

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Recommended Citation

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