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Torresian Crow

Corvus orru ssp. cecilae


My 700th spotting on PN. It has taken me a little under 6 years to get here, but hey, slow and steady, right?! :) I didn't know what number 700 was going to be, but then these crows made their appearance, and had it not been for their raucous and persistent calls, I would have missed them entirely. I've learned to listen out for crows and other local bird species, particularly Australian miners, butcherbirds and magpies, because they are very vocal when danger is spotted. There was a sizeable bird nest in a large tree at this location, and I was almost certain I would look up and see a python or some bird of prey, but alas, I spotted nothing untoward and they all went quiet as soon as I arrived. A false alarm? It appears so, but it may also have been a territorial dispute. There's plenty of info regarding this species at the reference links. PS: Regarding the bird in the lead photos - I have no idea why there's a mass of feathers missing from the nape of its neck. Initially I thought it had been mauled, but upon closer inspection I could see no visible signs of blood. That's not to say it hadn't been attacked because it also had an injured foot, but it was actively moving about and feeding, and in no way gave any indication it was ill. An old bird, perhaps? They can live up to 30 years. The bird raiding the bin is a juvenile - it's eyes are chestnut brown, whereas the adult birds have white eyes. Nestlings have blue eyes (and shorter wings and tail).


Open forests, eucalypt woodlands, scrublands, along watercourses, farms and city suburbs with tall trees. They require tall trees for nesting. Sedentary as adults, but immatures form nomadic flocks. These birds were spotted in Sunnybank, a suburb of Brisbane.


In Australia, there are five native corvid species: Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), Little Raven (C. mellori), Forest Raven (C. tasmanicus), Little Crow (C. bennetti), and Torresian Crow (C. orru). As well as these natives, the House Crow (C. splendens) from the near north Asian region has made regular appearances as a ship-assisted vagrant. To date, this species has not become established in Australia. https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/wildl... How to tell the difference between these corvid species of crows and ravens? It seems to be a simple matter of geography. Australian corvids are almost identical in appearance, so the most reliable way of identifying them is knowing which ones live where. Melbourne and Adelaide has the Little Raven. Perth, Canberra and Sydney, the Australian Raven. Hobart, the Forest Raven, and Brisbane and Darwin, the Torresian Crow. The Little Crow seems to favour the drier regions of Central Australia, but can also be found in Adelaide and Perth. Confused?

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 months ago

Thank you, Ashley. I appreciate the nomination. And thanks, Maria. Molting is something I had not even considered. Birds do molt, so it is possible. It's only that the bird's foot was injured that I've associated the loss of feathers with it, but perhaps the two are unrelated. Regardless, the bird seemed to be healthy enough.

Maria dB
Maria dB 6 months ago

Could the missing feathers on the adult be due to molting? Nice series!

AshleyT 6 months ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

The only crow calls I know well are: the one when they're calling out for you, Mark, and the other is that creepy clicking noise that Predator makes. I keep looking for three red dots on people's foreheads ;)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 months ago

Another super spotting Neil.
I was just listening to TC's on Xeno Canto a few days ago as one of the sounds they make is a deep spooky gurgle. I suspect if we knew the calls really well it would be an easy way to distinguish between the various corvids in Oz

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Excellent pun, Sukanya. Very quick and appropriate. And it was a well-shaded area, Brian, so that really vibrant sheen didn't have a chance to shine.

Brian38 7 months ago

Congrats Neil! Love their iridescent sheen.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 7 months ago

Congratulations for the landmark Neil.

SukanyaDatta 7 months ago

Congratulations on your 700th spotting...it is definitely something to crow about!
I love reading your notes...please keep adding more photos from Down-Under

Marek Koszorek
Marek Koszorek 7 months ago

Well done Neil :)

SarahWhitt 7 months ago


Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Absolutely. There is so much to see, and at least we, as spotters, are outdoors seeing it !! I'm often surprised at the things I've found living in my yard, right under my nose. In many ways PN has opened my eyes. It has also encouraged me to do lots of hiking. I do love that part, but not too much encouragement needed :)

SarahWhitt 7 months ago

Well.....I have been at "this" since 2011 & you have far surpassed my number of spottings!! I too, just go at my own pace. I enjoy being part of this GREAT, BIG, FASCINATING WORLD!! There is SO MUCH TO SEE!!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Thanks, Sarah. It's taken a few years. I just plod along at my own pace, although I've seen some lovely things along the way :)

SarahWhitt 7 months ago

CONGRATS Neil, on your 700th spotting!! 😁

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.57, Long: 153.06

Spotted on Feb 1, 2019
Submitted on Feb 2, 2019

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