Monday, April 11, 2011

Large-billed Crow pictures from Japan

These large-billed crow pictures come courtesy of my work colleague Phil who lives in Japan. He told me he had some great Japanese crow pictures, and the first thing I noticed about the bird was the large bill. I started doing some research to come up with the correct crow name. First I thought it was a carrion crow since those are a common type of Japanese crow, but the bill wasn't big enough. Then I found pictures of the large-billed crow and those were a match! Duh- "large bill"- it couldn't have been any simpler. These crows are also called jungle crows, but most of the birding sites call them large-billed crows.

Phil said they can get really big, which I believe since American crows are huge sometimes. I have vivid memories of standing my in my parents Cape Cod kitchen doing dishes and getting spooked by something huge in my periphery on the deck. All it ever was was a giant crow, but really they can be scary when they get so big!

Here are some interesting things I learned about the Japanese crow:

Japanese word for crow: karasu
Japanese crow myth: According to Japanese mythology, the karasu tengu is a supernatural being with the head and wings of a crow who serves the tengu, who are depicted as tall men with big noses and red faces who carry fans made of feathers that they can use to stir up winds.
Crows in Japanese culture: They're seen as pests in the cities since they're large and aggressive. They've started coming into cities more to scavenge rubbish. Their numbers in Tokyo are estimated to be around 150,000. Here's a great blog post I found about it:

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