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Corvus albicollis (White-necked raven) 

Withalskraai [Afrikaans]; Ihlungulu, Igrwababa, Umfundisi [Xhosa]; iHubulu, iWabayi [Zulu]; Lekhoaba, Moqukubi [South Sotho]; Gwavava, Ukuuku [Tsonga]; Witnekraaf [Dutch]; Corbeau nuque blanche [French]; Geierrabe [German]; Corvo-das-montanhas [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Corvidae

Corvus albicollis (White-necked raven) Corvus albicollis (White-necked raven)

White-necked raven, Tsitskamma National Park, South Africa. [photo Duncan Robertson ]

White-necked raven calling, Tsitskamma National Park, South Africa. [photo Duncan Robertson ]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in a band from Kenya and Tanzania through Malawi to southern Africa. Here it is restricted to areas of Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, the Western and Eastern Capes, KwaZulu-Natal and the Limpopo Province. It generally favours rocky or mountainous areas, often hunting in adjacent plains and even in the more open areas of cities.

Distribution of White-necked raven in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It is a highly adaptable feeder, eating a variety of insects, birds, small mammals, reptiles and fruit, among other things. It often scavenges on roadkills in the Karoo and steals eggs from other birds nests. It also picks up tortoises in its bill and drops them about 15 metres onto rocks, which (sometimes after several tries) cracks open the shell so that it can eat the juicy insides. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is a large cup of twigs lined with with hair, grass and wool and placed on an almost inaccessible ledge or hole in a cliff.
  • Egg-laying season is from about July-November, peaking around September-October.
  • It lays 2-5, usually 4 eggs which are incubated for about 21-26 days.
  • In one observation, the chicks were fed and cared for solely by the female, leaving the nest after 38 days.


Not threatened, in fact quite common in protected areas.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.