Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pied Crow

The pied crow is a black and white crow that occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, excluding the equatorial rainforest regions.
Pied crow in Cape Coast, Ghana
I love them because they resemble the magpies of my youth, but are much larger. Structurally, it is more like a small raven than a crow. It is mostly black, including the head, bill, legs, wings and tail, but has a white ring on the back of its neck and mostly white belly.
This photo gives some detail of the front of the pied crow that contains most of the white on the belly.
I saw them a number of times in East Africa, but was only able to photograph them in Cape Coast, Ghana, when we visited "baptism beach," the place where the first LDS church baptisms occurred in Ghana in 1978. What was then a pristine, beautiful beach, is now used as a place to slaughter animals and it is covered with scattered bottles and garbage, probably the reason the pied crows were there. Wikipedia notes that they are frequently seen scavenging around slaughterhouses which was the fact in our case. We watched a man cleaning five or six slaughtered goats on the beach and also saw several hooded vultures in the vicinity. 


  1. Kind of an inglorious end to baptism beach. A little Poe-ish..

  2. I call these tuxedo birds, but they are more like hit men wearing tuxes, aren't they?