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image: alala.jpg

Common Name: ‘Alala (Hawaiian Crow)

Scientific Name: Corvus tropicus

Size: 19-20 inches (48-50 cm)

Habitat: Hawaiian Islands. Last found on the island of Hawai’i in open montane forests. Fossil evidence shows that the crow was once found in abundance throughout the islands.

Status: Extinct in the wild. The reason of its decline and extinction in the wild is unknown, although avian malaria passed by the non-endemic mosquito is believed to be a contributing factor. 2007 Population in captivity: 40

Diet: A varied diet, including carrion, eggs and nestlings, other small creatures, fruits, and even human food and scraps.

Nesting: Nests are always found in trees with both males and females participating in nest construction. Females generally lay five eggs; the eggs may be incubated by either parent, with the other bird usually sitting quietly near its brooding mate.

Cool Facts: The ‘Alala is similar to the mainland crows except it has more rounded wings and a much thicker bill. Its plumage is a soft, brownish-black with long, bristly throat feathers. Its legs and bill are jet black.

The last two known wild individuals of this species disappeared in 2002. There are some individuals in captive breeding facilities, but attempts to reintroduce captive-bred birds into the wild have been hampered by predation by the Hawaiian hawk or ‘Io (which is also endangered). Some scientists believe that the small number of remaining individuals may be too small to offer a diverse gene pool bringing the ‘Alala to the point that the species can no longer recover.

Found in Songbird ReMix Threatened, Endangered, Extinct2, the Songbird Remix Corvus corvus Bundle and Songbird ReMix Hawai'i

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