Palm crow

The palm crow (Corvus palmarum) is a relatively small black bird in the crow family that occurs mostly on the large Caribbean island of Hispaniola, itself divided into the two countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was formerly quite frequent on Cuba but has become severely reduced in number and may be almost extinct there. This form is slightly smaller and is usually separated as a subspecies called Corvus palmarum minutus. Both forms are usually now given the respective common names of Hispaniolan palm crow and Cuban palm crow to distinguish them.

Palm crow
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
C. palmarum
Binomial name
Corvus palmarum

Both forms appear to be closely related to the fish crow (C. ossifragus) of the East Coast of the United States and also two smaller species, the Tamaulipas crow (C. imparatus) and Sinaloan crow (C. sinaloae) of Mexico and forms a species group with them.

The Dominican local name for the palm crow is cao, which is onomatopoeic of the simple and repetitive call of this bird. There it is locally common, mainly in mountain pine forests and also around the area of Lake Enriquillo.


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