A resident bird of Cyprus and the Akamas. It’s a very common and widespread species, mainly in open areas with scattered trees, orchards, often near villages.
It is a social species that is frequently observed in groups, while in the breeding season in pairs. It nests on trees or large bushes, usually dense and thorny, to make access difficult to potential enemies. It builds a fairly large nest for its size, covered on top with branches.
It’s an omnivorous species, with a wide range of food, from fruits and other plant-based foods, to large insects, worms, lizards and small rodents, eggs and chicks of other birds, carcasses and often feeds on food from human remains. It’s a medium- large corvid, with black and white coloring and a characteristic, very long black tail. In flight it seems to struggle somewhat, with frequent flapping and short gliding, with the characteristic short, rounded wings showing the large white patches on their tips.
On the ground it moves in hops, often lifting its tail. Its call is characteristic, a continuous ‘chiak-ak-ak-ak’, while it has a variety of mainly hoarse sounds.