Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Little Crow
Corvus bennetti
(Viewing 4 of 13 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Little Crows are arid zone specialists and generally restricted to inland Australia inside about the 300 mm isohyet. They breed throughout the desert regions wherever there is surface water, for like all of our corvids, they have to drink daily. Their range broadly overlaps that of the Australian Raven; fortunately these two species are easily distinguished on call, (listen to Sound Sample 690/691) as well as size. Unfortunately, Little Crows sometimes occur alongside either Torresian Crows or Little Ravens and in both cases their calls can be confused. One point worth emphasizing here is that size alone is not always a reliable guide. Some very small Torresian Crows do occur, particularly in NE Queensland and even in the hand, they can be hard to separate; the more bulky bill of the Torresian Crow is a good guide, but in the field, differences in calls are the best guide.

The map shows the breeding distribution of Little Crows in Australia. In Queensland in particular they are a desert frequenting species. You have to travel almost 1000 km west of Brisbane to Lake Bindegolly to encounter the first breeding Little Crows. Any records further east would be of wandering immatures, but in most cases they are more likely incorrectly identified Torresian Crows - again, size is not reliable in separating these two. Perth is the only capital city where Little Crows occur but they do not breed there. Large flocks of Little Crows visit the coastal plain of SW W.A. in summer to escape the more extreme climate inland, and there they congregate near food sources such as abbatoirs or irrigated pastures.

Photo: 691002

691002 ... Little Crow.

Photo: 691202

691202 ... Little Crow

Photo: 691203

691203 ... Showing white bases to feathers blowing in the wind.

Photo: 691205

691205 ... Little Crows can erect the crown feathers giving the head a distinctive shape

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