Photo: Greg Lasley/Vireo

Tamaulipas Crow

Corvus imparatus

This small crow has a very limited range in the dry country of northeastern Mexico. In the United States it has occurred mostly as a winter visitor to southernmost Texas, mainly around the landfill at Brownsville, where it scavenges for food along with Chihuahuan Ravens, gulls, and many other birds. The Mexican Crow has a surprisingly low-pitched voice for its small size. A close relative in western Mexico, the Sinaloa Crow, is now considered a separate species because its high, shrill calls are very different.
Conservation status Despite its adaptability, might be vulnerable because of ongoing destruction of habitat in its very limited native range.
Family Crows, Magpies, Jays
Habitat Semi-open country. In Texas, seen mostly in and near the Brownsville garbage dump. In Mexico, found in dry brushland, arid scrub, farms, ranches, towns. Avoids unbroken forest, mountains, and extreme desert situations, and not often found on seashore.
This small crow has a very limited range in the dry country of northeastern Mexico. In the United States it has occurred mostly as a winter visitor to southernmost Texas, mainly around the landfill at Brownsville, where it scavenges for food along with Chihuahuan Ravens, gulls, and many other birds. The Mexican Crow has a surprisingly low-pitched voice for its small size. A close relative in western Mexico, the Sinaloa Crow, is now considered a separate species because its high, shrill calls are very different.
Photo Gallery
  • adult
Feeding Behavior

Forages mostly by walking on ground; also probably does some foraging in trees. Except when nesting, usually forages in flocks.


Eggs

4. Pale blue, streaked with pale olive-buff. Incubation is apparently by female only, 17-18 days. Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Development of young in the wild not well known; may leave the nest roughly 30-35 days after hatching.


Young

Both parents bring food for nestlings. Development of young in the wild not well known; may leave the nest roughly 30-35 days after hatching.

Diet

Probably omnivorous. Diet not known in detail, but probably like other crows in eating a wide variety of items. Scavenges for refuse, and known to eat carrion, insects, seeds; probably also birds' eggs, berries, nuts, various other things.


Nesting

Has only been known to nest a few times in Texas. Breeding behavior is not well known. May nest in loose colonies. Courtship may involve two birds perching close together, touching bills and preening each other's feathers; one bird (male?) may feed the other. Nest site is usually in tree; the first nests found in Texas were built in the open on a framework of steel beams. Both sexes help build nest, a substantial platform or shallow basket of sticks and plant fibers, lined with softer materials.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Migration

Mostly a permanent resident; disperses somewhat in winter, with small flocks formerly moving north into Texas. Very few have occurred in recent years.

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Migration

Mostly a permanent resident; disperses somewhat in winter, with small flocks formerly moving north into Texas. Very few have occurred in recent years.

Songs and Calls
A soft croaking gar-lic, very different from familiar caw, caw of American Crow.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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