New Caledonian Crow Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a New Caledonian crow?
The New Caledonian crow is a kind of bird endemic to the islands of New Caledonia. These crows are known for using tools made out of sticks or other materials with a hook in order to collect food.
What class of animal does a New Caledonian crow belong to?
How many New Caledonian crows are there in the world?
Though the exact number of New Caledonian crows is not known, these birds are observed to have a stable population and are quite commonly seen in their natural range.
Where does a New Caledonian crow live?
The New Caledonian crow is endemic to New Caledonia, which comprises a group of islands in the South Pacific. These islands are part of the French territory. These crows have also been introduced in the Maré island of the Loyalty Islands province, which is also a part of New Caledonia.
What is a New Caledonian crow's habitat?
The habitat of the New Caledonian crows mostly includes forests. They are also seen in savannas.
Who does New Caledonian crow live with?
New Caledonian crows can be seen foraging in pairs. However, they can make flocks of up to 30 members. The juvenile birds can live with their parents for a year. Studies show that New Caledonian crows generally live in small family units.
How long does a New Caledonian crow live?
The exact lifespan of the New Caledonian crows is not known, but most crows can live for 15-20 years in the wild.
How do they reproduce?
During the breeding season, both the male and female bird takes part in building the nest. Their nests are usually made in tall trees. Once mating is successful, the female lays two or three eggs, which are incubated by both parents. After the chicks hatch, both parents take responsibility for feeding them. Even after fledging, the young crows can be seen with their parents, who continue to feed them for a certain amount of time.
What is their conservation status?
The conservation status of the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides) has been marked as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN. However, the clearance of forests that constitute their habitat can become a threat to these birds.
New Caledonian Crow Fun Facts
What do New Caledonian crows look like?
In the New Caledonian crows, both the male and female birds have a similar appearance. They are medium-sized with slender bodies. Their plumage appears glossy black and can show purple, green, or dark blue iridescence under the light. The bill in these birds is conical with the lower tip angled upwards. The bill along with the legs and feet are all black. The eye color is usually dark brown.
How cute are they?
This species of crows can appear cute and beautiful due to their glossy black plumage. However, their most notable features are their intelligence and cognitive abilities. The way these birds manufacture and use tools is an important part of the research on evolution.
How do they communicate?
New Caledonian crows mainly communicate through vocalizations. Their calls can range from 'waaaw' to 'wak-wak' or 'waa-waa'. Their call can also sound like 'qua-qua' or 'waaark'.
How big is a New Caledonian crow?
The length of a New Caledonian crow is 15.7 in (40 cm). They are medium-sized birds with a slender silhouette. In comparison to the white-necked crows belonging to the Island of Hispaniola who have a length of 17-18 in (43-45.7 cm), the New Caledonian crows are certainly smaller.
How fast can a New Caledonian crow run?
The running speed of New Caledonian crows is not known. However, these birds have an agile flight. They can even get away from their predators by gracefully flying through the trees and camouflaging themselves in the shade.
How much does a New Caledonian crow weigh?
The exact weight of the New Caledonian crows is not known. However, while putting a radio transmitter and related harnesses weighing around 0.2 oz (5.7g) in a small female crow of this species, it was found that the devices are 2.2% of the total body weight of the bird. Hence, the bird's body weight was around 9.6 oz (272.2 g).
What are the male and female names of their species?
The male and female crows of this species are known as male New Caledonian crows and female New Caledonian crows, respectively.
What would you call a baby New Caledonian crow?
A baby New Caledonian crow is known as a chick.
What do they eat?
New Caledonian crows are omnivorous and eat a variety of food materials. Their diet includes nuts and seeds, apart from various kinds of invertebrates like insects, snails, mollusks, and worms. They also feed on reptiles, like small lizards, eggs, and nestlings. They are able to catch insects while in flight. This bird species have the ability to use tools in order to reach their food. They create their tools using twigs and other plant materials, depending on their prey and where it is located. For example, they use sticks and twigs as tools to reach insects inside holes. They are also capable of creating hooks if the need arises.
Are they poisonous?
New Caledonian crows are not poisonous.
Would they make a good pet?
In general, crows are not commonly seen as pets. Most of the crows which are in captivity are kept there for research purposes.
Did you know...
According to experiments carried out by the researcher Alex Taylor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, New Caledonian crows have the capability to plan for the future.
Experiments led scientists to observe that New Caledonian crows lack a sense of self-recognition and cannot identify themselves in the mirror. However, they can use mirrors to find hidden food.
Why are New Caledonian crows called flying primates?
The use of tools to solve any task is a behavior primarily observed by researchers in primates, like humans. However, the New Caledonian crow tool use is noteworthy and has earned them the name of flying primates. These birds make use of a variety of tools, depending on the situation, mostly to collect food. Their tools are either made up of sticks and twigs to reach their food located in narrow spaces, or it has a hook-like structure. They make these hooked tools with the help of leaves from the Pandanus spp. plants or they use stems of different plants. The hooked tools made from the leaves of Pandanus spp. have natural barbs, while those made from stems have a single hook at the end, made by the bird itself, making them the only non-human species are known to create hooks. This characteristic behavior of New Caledonian crows has allowed scientists to study the evolution of tool use in non-humans.
What have studies shown to be remarkable about the crows in New Caledonia?
The New Caledonian crows display a number of remarkable abilities. New studies have shown that these crows can create tools by combining different objects, to make the tool functional as a whole. Such an ability to anticipate the possible mechanism of different components for building a tool was only known in humans and great apes. Hence, it can be said that New Caledonian crows are adept at problem-solving by assessing the possible function of different parts of a tool they never knew before.
New Caledonian crows are also adept at meta-tool use. In a New Caledonian crow experiment, seven of these crows were presented with a shorter stick to retrieve a longer stick to ultimately reach their food. Six of them could successfully do the task. Researchers have only observed this behavior in primates before.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our nightingale facts and keel-billed toucan facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable New caledonian crow crow coloring pages.