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Torresian Crow

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Is the Torresian Crow right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Australian Crow; Papuan Crow

Scientific name: Corvus orru

The basics:
The Torresian Crow is an intelligent, aggressive, and somewhat opportunistic species native to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and to the north and west of Australia. It's a bold species often found in urban cities in Australia, including Brisbane. Like other crows, they learn, they recognize faces, and they may try to use tools or solve problems. If you are kind and offer food, even a wild Torresian Crow will remember you.In fact, if you are just careless and leave out food, the crow will remember and maybe tell all of its buddies, so the Australian government recommends that people don't leave pet food or garbage out where crows can find it.

Despite their intelligence, they are not common in the pet market. In Australia, you should check with your state wildlife office to see if you need a permit to hold a Torresian Crow.

Appearance:
A black crow with striking white eyes. If you are able to see the base of the feathers on the neck or head (perhaps during the molt), you will see that they are also white. This feature is not necessarily noticeable most of the time, though.

Weight:
550 grams (19.4 oz.)

Average Size:
50 centimeters (20 in.)

Lifespan:
8 - 10 years

Behavior / temperament:
Although not as well-studied as some other Corvus species, there's no doubt of the intelligence of the Torresian Crow. When the poisonous Cane Toad was introduced to Australia, this bird quickly figured out how to flip this big juicy-looking toad on its back so that the bird could feed by going through the soft belly-- thus avoiding the poison.

Housing:
Like other soft-billed birds that exercise by flying as well as by hopping, the Torresian Crow demands an aviary, not a cage. If you have a rehab bird that can't be released, you may be able to get away with supplying a smaller sleep cage, but you will then need to provide plenty of attention, toys, and time at liberty so that this intelligent bird doesn't become depressed and bored.

Diet:
Torresian Crows are omnivores who can't survive and thrive on grain alone, despite reports that they do eat more grain than the average crow species. In the wild, they are opportunistic and pick up carrion, so you will need to provide some source of protein such as live grubs and eggs. A captive diet could include a low iron softbill crumble supplemented with mealworms, crickets, and other insects as well as treats like cooked chicken, chopped grapes, tiny pinky mice, and more.

Written by Elaine Radford

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