Crows 1

Carrion CrowThere are currently 46 species of Corvus crows on the IOC World Bird List. Of these only 8 species show any amount of white or off-white coloration in their plumage. This leaves us with 38 different black crows, 38 shades of black. How have they been described? In short: with little reference to colour.

Taking all Corvus species, here is a list of the scientific names with translations.

  • House Crow – Corvus splendens = Brilliant Crow – from Latin splendens = brilliant, shiny.
  • New Caledonian Crow – Corvus moneduloides = Jackdaw-like Crow – from Latin monedula = Jackdaw (literally, money-eater) and Greek -oidēs = resembling.
  • Banggai Crow – Corvus unicolor = Plain Crow – from Latin uni- = single, and color = colour. (First described by Rothschild and Hartert in 1900, this Sunda endemic was ‘rediscovered’ in 2007 after a 100 year absence.)
  • Slender-billed Crow – Corvus enca = Enca Crow – enca is a Javanese name for crow.
  • Violet Crow – Corvus violaceus = Violet-coloured Crow – from Latin viola = violet, and -cues = like.
  • Piping Crow – Corvus typicus = Typical Crow – from Latin typicus = typical, type.
  • Flores Crow – Corvus florensis = for Flores, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands.
  • Mariana Crow – Corvus kubaryi = patronym for Polish naturalist Jan Stanisław Kubary (1846-1896).
  • Long-billed Crow – Corvus validus = Strong Crow – from Latin valere = to be strong.
  • White-billed Crow – Corvus woodfordi = Woodford’s Crow – patronym for British naturalist Charles Morris Woodford (1852-1927).
  • Bougainville Crow – Corvus meeki = patronym for English bird collector and naturalist Albert Stewart Meek (1871-1943).
  • Brown-headed Crow – Corvus fuscicapillus = from Latin fuscus = brown, and -capillus = capped.
  • Grey Crow – Corvus tristis = Sad Crow – from Latin tristis = sad.
  • Cape Crow – Corvus capensis = for Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
  • Rook – Corvus frugilegus = Fruit-eating Crow – from Latin frugis = fruit, and leger = to pick.
  • American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos = Short-billed Crow – from Greek brakhus = short, and rhunkhos = bill.
  • Northwestern Crow – Corvus caurinus = from Latin caurus = north-western wind.
  • Tamaulipas Crow – Corvus imparatus = Unprepared Crow – from Latin imparatus = unprepared.
  • Sinaloa Crow – Corvus sinaloae = for the Free and Sovereign State of Sinaloa, Mexico.
  • Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus = Bone-breaking Crow – from Latin os, ossis = bone, and frangere = to break.
  • Hispaniolan Palm Crow – Corvus palmarum = Palm Crow – from Latin palma = palm tree. (A recent split, endemic to Hispaniola.)
  • Cuban Palm Crow – Corvus minutus = Little Crow – from Latin minuere = to make smaller. (A recent split from Corvus palmarum s.l., endemic to Cuba.)
  • Jamaican Crow – Corvus jamaicensis = for Jamaica.
  • Cuban Crow – Corvus nasicus = Large-nosed Crow – from Latin nasus= nose.
  • White-necked Crow – Corvus leucognaphalus = White-mouthed Crow – from Greek leucos = white, and gnaphos = mouth.
  • Hawaiian Crow – Corvus hawaiiensis = for Hawaii, U.S.A.
  • Carrion Crow – Corvus corone = Crow – from Greek korōnē = crow (derived from onomapopoeic krōzō = to croak).
  • Hooded Crow – Corvus cornix = Crow – from Latin cornix = crow (synonymous with corvus).
  • Collared Crow – Corvus torquatus = from Latin torques = collar. (Was Corvus pectoralis = Pectoral Crow – from Latin pectoralis = of the breast.)
  • Large-billed Crow – Corvus macrorhynchos = from Greek makrorrhunkhos = long-billed.
  • Eastern Jungle Crow – Corvus levaillantii = Levaillant’s Crow – patronym for French ornithologist François Levaillant (1753-1824). (A recent split.)
  • Indian Jungle Crow – Corvus culminatus = Culmen Crow (Thick-billed Crow) – from Latin culmen = culmen. (Split from Corvus levaillantii.)
  • Torresian Crow – Corvus orru = unknown, probably based on a Papuan name for crow.
  • Bismarck Crow – Corvus insularis = Island Crow – from Latin insula = island. (Split from Corvus orru.)
  • Little Crow – Corvus bennetti = Bennett’s Crow – patronym for Australian naturalist George Bennett (1804-1893).
  • Forest Raven – Corvus tasmanicus = Tasmanian Raven – for Tasmania.
  • Little Raven – Corvus mellori = Mellor’s Raven – patronym for English chemist Joseph William Mellor (1869-1938).
  • Australian Raven – Corvus coronoides = Carrion Crow-like Raven – from Corvus corone = Carrion Crow, and Greek -oidēs = resembling.
  • Pied Crow – Corvus albus = White Crow – from Latin albus = white.
  • Brown-necked Raven – Corvus ruficollis = Rufous-necked Raven – from Latin rufus = red, rufous, and collum = neck.
  • Somali Crow – Corvus edithae = Cole’s Crow – matronym for British bortanist and entomologist Edith Cole (1859-1940).
  • Northern Raven – Corvus corax = Raven – from Greek korax = raven.
  • Chihuahuan Raven – Corvus cryptoleucus = Covert White-feathered Raven – from Greek kruptos = hidden, and leukos = white.
  • Fan-tailed Raven – Corvus rhipidurus = from Greek rhipis = fan, and oura tail.
  • White-necked Raven – Corvus albicollis = from Latin albus = white, and collum = neck.
  • Thick-billed Raven – Corvus crassirostris = from Latin crassus thick, heavy, and rostrum = bill.
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