Jamaican crow


The Jamaican crow (Corvus jamaicensis) is a comparatively small corvid (35–38 cm in length). It shares several key morphological features with two other West Indian species, the Cuban crow (Corvus nasicus) and the white-necked crow (Corvus leucognaphalus) of Hispaniola, which are very closely related to it.

Jamaican crow
Corvus jamaicensis.jpg
Jamaican crow.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
C. jamaicensis
Binomial name
Corvus jamaicensis
Gmelin, 1788
Jamaican crow distribution map.png
Distribution map

Distribution and habitatEdit

As its name suggests, this species is found on the island of Jamaica, where it inhabits woodland mixed with cleared areas, and can be frequently found in larger gardens. Though primarily a bird of hill and mountain forest, it comes down to lower elevations during the dry season, where it is more likely to be seen.


The overall appearance is sooty-grey, not at all glossy, like its relatives; though it does possess a similar dark grey patch of naked skin just behind the eye, and a smaller naked patch at the base of the bill. The bill itself is slate-grey and quite deep, tapering to a sharp point. The nasal bristles are relatively sparse usually leaving the nostrils on view. The iris is either grey-brown or red-brown, possibly depending on age. The legs and feet are black.


A forest crow by nature, its food requirements contain a significant proportion of fruit taken from trees, either in pairs or small groups. It also probes under bark and leaf litter for small invertebrates and lizards, and it is known to raid other birds nests of both eggs and nestlings.


The nest itself is usually built in tall trees; this species may also use tree holes as a possible nesting option, although not yet recorded for this species and its breeding habits.


The voice, like its two nearest relatives, is very distinctive and consists of various jabbering and bubbling sounds (thus its common Jamaican Patois name, jabbering crow), but also a more leisurely “craaa-aa” and variations thereof, and somewhat of a musical burbling.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2020). "Corvus jamaicensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22706007A182093614. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22706007A182093614.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Jamaican Crow - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved 2019-09-11.