Stresemann’s Bush Crow (Zavattariornis stresemanni)
Named after the German ornithologist Erwin Stresemann, Stresemann’s Bush Crow (Zavattariornis stresemanni), also known as Abyssinian Pie, Bush Crow or by its generic name Zavattariornis, is a rather Starling-like member of the Crow family, Corvidae. It is slightly larger than the North American Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata and is a bluish-grey in overall appearance becoming almost white on the forehead. The throat and chest are creamy-white with the tail and wings a glossy black. The black feathers have a tendency to bleach to brown at their tips. The iris of the bird is brown and the eye is surrounded by a band of naked bright blue skin The bill, legs and feet are black.
The range of this species is quite restricted being confined to thorn Acacia country in southern Ethiopia near Yavello (Javello), Mega and Arero. It can be curiously absent from apparently suitable country nearby to these areas, the reasons for this not being apparent.
Feeding is usually in small groups taking mainly insects.
Breeding usually starts in March, with the birds building their nest high in an Acacia tree. The birds usually lay five to six cream eggs with lilac blotches. The nest itself is globular in shape with a tubular entrance on top. It is possible that more than just the breeding pair visit the nest and that the young of previous years help in rearing the young.
The voice of this bird is described as a high pitched ‘Chek’.
Watch a video of the Ethiopian Bush crow here: