A resident bird of Cyprus and the Akamas. It is very rare in Cyprus generally, with only a few pairs remaining, mainly in the area of Pentadaktylos mountain range in occupied Cyprus. In the last few years (around 2019 or 2020), at least one pair has reappeared in Akamas region where it has successfully bred, after several years of absence. It is worth noting that in this part of the island, it may not had a permanent presence and has not been breeding, at least since 2000, with Akamas being the first confirmed breeding area of the species since then.
It nests on steep cliffs, making a fairly large nest of branches. It’s usually seen in pairs or small family groups, rarely in larger groups. It is very adept at flying and often covers long distances, patrolling its territory.
It is an omnivorous species, feeding on a variety of food, very often on animal carcasses which it usually spots first, with its excellent vision. It is usually the first scavenger bird species to find and go to an animal carcass, where other raptor species (including the Vulture) may then follow. This is also the reason why its population in Cyprus has collapsed, while in other countries it is still quite common. The fact that it’s so good at spotting dead animals first, makes it very exposed to poisoned animals or bait, which is the main cause of extinction or dramatic decline in scavenging birds (e.g. Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture).
It is the largest corvid species in the world, with a very wide global distribution. Its color is jet black, with no other color on it. It also has a very large and powerful beak. Its size is larger than Common Buzzard when sitting, while its wingspan is similar. Its usual call is a deep ‘grrr’, which it often repeats 3-4 times. It also has another series of less common calls.