September 23, 2012

Strange Brown Crow Found in Japan

A brown crow has been spotted and photographed in Fukui prefecture, Japan. Residents started noticing the bird lurking around a garbage collection area at the beginning of June, 2012 and amateur photographer Teruo Shimizu was able to capture the unusual bird on film.

Photo of the brown crow in Fukui.

Due to it’s very strange coloration, the crow has become the talk of the town. One resident said “I have never seen a crow like that in my life.” The crow is described by residents as being solitary, keeping to itself and staying well away from the more usual black crows. It also does not appear to be as bold as other crows, and is said to be extremely wary of humans.

The type of crows found in Japan are  typically black in color, and it is very unusual to see a brown one like this. The unique coloration is most probably due to some genetic condition, such as leucism, which causes partial or total absence of pigmentation in the plumage of birds.

It also looks similar to a Hawaiian crow (Corvus hawaiiensis) to me. These crows are know to exhibit brown coloration that might be light enough to look like what is seen here. However, how one would end up in Japan is a mystery. Hawaiian crows are thought to have gone extinct in the wild in 2002, and the 78 captive individuals remaining are kept in captive breeding  facilities run by the San Diego Zoo.

Female Hawaiian crow.

About mystery_man

Filed under Avian Mysteries, Cryptotourism, Mystery Man's Menagerie