White-necked crow

White-necked crow

White-necked crow

Corvus leucognaphalus

The white-necked crow (Corvus leucognaphalus ) is the largest of the four Caribbean corvids. It is endemic to the island of Hispaniola (split between Haiti and the Dominican Republic); it was formerly also extant on Puerto Rico, but has been extirpated there due to considerable forest clearance and hunting.


A stocky bird, it is the largest Caribbean corvid, measuring 42–46 centimetres or 17–18 inches in length. The overall appearance is black, with a bluish-purple gloss in good light; despite the name, the neck typically appears entirely black, as the namesake white is restricted to the bases of the neck feathers, rarely visible in the field. The black bill is long and deep, and curves gently downward to the tip, giving the bird a large headed appearance. The nasal bristles do not quite cover the nostrils, unlike the majority of species in this genus. There is a patch of dark grey bare skin behind the eye, and the base of the lower mandible has a bare strip of the same coloured skin. The iris is a distinctive crimson red in colour, and the legs and feet are black. It often flies high over the forest canopy and soars on thermals, unlike the palm crow, which rarely, if ever, soars.



Biogeographical realms

It inhabits both lowland and mountain forest, and tolerates degraded areas used for agriculture.

White-necked crow habitat map


White-necked crow habitat map
White-necked crow

Habits and Lifestyle

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

The diet is typical of most forest crows, comprising a large amount of fruit but a degree of invertebrate food is also taken, especially when feeding young. Small vertebrate prey has also been found in the stomachs of collected birds, including small native toads and nestlings. Bird eggs are also taken when found.

Mating Habits

The nest is always solitary and built high in a tall tree, though little else concerning their breeding has as yet been recorded.



It has been designated as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN, due to having a severely fragmented population which is mostly decreasing, and several other threats (mainly hunting for both food and as a crop pest, destruction of habitat for agriculture and timber, and attacks on nest sites by the recently arrived pearly-eyed thrasher (Margarops fuscatus )); the same factors that led to its extirpation on Puerto Rico seem to affect the remaining populations on Hispaniola and surrounding islands.


1. White-necked crow Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-necked_crow
2. White-necked crow on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22706013/94046195
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/362229

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