Torresian Crow

Did you know?

The Torresian Crow shuffles its wings when landing at a perch.

Nasal, staccato caw: 'uk-uk-uk-uk', usually more than three notes. Also harsher 'arr-arr-arr' aggressive call.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Breeding season: 
August to October in south; November to February in north
Clutch Size: 
Three to five.
20 days
Nestling Period: 
42 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
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What does it look like?

The Torresian Crow is a large glossy black crow with short throat hackles (feathers). The feathers of the head and neck have white bases. The eye is white with a fine blue eye-ring. Immature birds are duller black with a brown eye. When landing, this species characteristically shuffles its wings. It will be seen outside breeding season in large flocks. It has also been called the Australian Crow.

Similar species: 

There are six members of the family Corvidae found in Australia: five native breeding species and one infrequent self-introduction. Three are called crows and three ravens, although there is really little difference. Most Australian species are similar in size and colouration, and can be difficult to tell apart. In some cases, identification is aided by the separate ranges of different species, but differences in plumage, habits and calls offer good clues for distinguishing them. The bases of the feathers of the crows are white, while those of the ravens are grey, although this is only useful if birds are held in the hand or if discarded feathers are found. The Torresian Crow's short staccato call and its habit of wing-shuffling can help to identify it from other crows.

Where does it live?

The Torresian Crow is found across northern Australia and in Western Australia, from Geraldton to Norseman. It is more common in coastal and tropical areas, being only patchily distributed inland. It is also found in Papua New Guinea, the Moluccas and New Britain. It is the most common corvid (crow or raven) of coastal towns from Forster, New South Wales to Brisbane, Queensland and also in Darwin, Northern Territory.


The Torresian Crow is found on rainforest fringes, in open forests and woodlands, taller scrublands, beaches and in dry areas, along watercourses with tall timber. It is also found around farms and in croplands. It requires tall trees for nesting.

Seasonal movements: 

Sedentary as adults, but immatures form nomadic flocks.

What does it do?

The Torresian Crow eats the most grain, compared with other corvids, but will also eat fruit, insects and other invertebrates, eggs, garbage and carrion (dead animals). Often seen feeding along roads. Perches on the heads of crop plants or on tall artificial structures.


The Torresian Crow forms monogamous breeding pairs that maintain a permanent territory. Both sexes build the nest, which is a bowl of sticks lined with grass, placed high in a tree (over 10 m) or artificial structure. The Torresian Crow's nest is made of finer material than the other corvid species'. Both parents share feeding duties.

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