Stresemann’s Bush Crow (Zavattariornis stresemanni)

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.

Habitat Range Map
Habitat Range Map

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:

Crows are moving in…

I read this news story and thought it was worth sharing… check it out! =)

(If you go to the original source page –here– there is a video too!)

It’s almost a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” in Rochester . Well, sort of. It’s not quite as scary.

Rochester resident Jason Buck says, “It’s just basically a big blob of black birds. It’s kind of weird.”

Rochester resident Brandon Icenberg says, “It’s the sounds of crows.  You know, their CAW! That’s all you hear.”

Hundreds of crows have moved in to the grounds of the Fulton County Courthouse and it’s the first time this has ever happened.

Icenberg says, “I was kind of freaked out by it.”

Fulton County Commission Roger Rose says, “It really started when we had that real bad cold spell and it got way down below zero. That’s when the crows decided they wanted to roost here.”

The crows actually leave during the day and return just as the sun is going down. While they may not be around, they sure do leave their mark. Bird dropping are on signs, the trees and even the lights.

Fulton County maintenance supervisor Randy Grundrum says, “They’re making quite a mess on the side walk.”

Grundrum is the man tasked with getting rid of the birds.

Grundrum says, “I was going to get some goal ol’ boys with some 12 gauges to come out some night. That was met with mixed reviews.”

Don’t worry, nobody’s going to murder this murder of crows. The county prefers a more humane approach, like trying to scare them off with loud sounds.

Another idea, the county is looking at, is turning of the spot lights that shine on the courthouse. The thought is by turning them off,  the birds will lose their protection.

Grundrum says, “There seems to be some opinion out there that the light makes them feel more secure because they feel like hawks can’t swoop them as easy.”

They think the crows will eventually fly the coop on their own. While they may be annoying now, one resident says he will be sad to see them go.

Buck says, “It’s just soothing. It’s weird to hear birds in the middle of winter.”

There is some concern that there could be some health issues from the bird droppings.

The Fulton County Health Department says there really shouldn’t be a problem. They say the birds would have to be there for two or more years before there would be any concerns.

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