Gold-Crested Crow Species in Yonderverse | World Anvil

Gold-Crested Crow

One of fifteen crested crows of the family Corvidae, gold-crested crows are critically endangered, on the verge of extinction. Many rural areas of the Unuth Glitter Forest believe these corvids to be bad luck, and so attempt to kill them whenever they enter the villages.

The Sakara Birdwatching University, alongside many other wildlife and conservation organisations, are attempting to rekindle this fading species. They nest once a year and only lay around four eggs, making them incredibly vulnerable to predation.

Anatomy

Gold-crested crows don't have a crest per-se, instead just a golden cap atop their heads. This bright bit of plumage differs from their otherwise dark purple and black colouration.

Their legs, toes and beaks are a lighter purple, one of the only birds on the planet with scales and beaks this colour.

These birds are small for corvids - females are around fifteen centimetres in length, including the tail.
Gold-Crested Crow by Mochi
They have a wingspan of approximately twenty-five centimetres, ever so slightly longer in males.

Sexual Dimorphism

Gold-crested crows are sexually dimorphic, with males being slightly longer than females, with a larger golden cap.

Diet

These birds are carnivorous, with a varied diet. They mostly prey on small mammals, chicks and eggs, some crustaceans, and other large invertebrates.

They are blessed that their diet is so diverse, as if one species suddenly went extinct in their natural environment then there are still a number of other species to prey on. Most of this species don't prefer any specific animal, instead hunting whatever is easiest in the moment.

Reproduction & Growth

Gold-Crested Crow Nest by Mochi

Gold-crested crows breed in monogamous pairs. The clutch is incubated on rotation between the male and female for about nineteen days. Females lay between 3 and 5 eggs per clutch, with about 90% chance to lay 4 eggs.

They nest within umbrella trees, which are rarely found within the Unuth Glitter Forest. They commandeer an entire umbrella to themselves, weaving together a complex nest made of leaves, mud, clay, sticks, feathers, moss, and small pebbles as a base.

The pair will return to their nest year after year, each year the nest is expanded.

Habitat

Gold-crested crows are endemic to the Unuth Glitter Forest, a region of Unuth known to be quite primitive in the views of the slimes that live there. Many are superstitious, believing these animals to be bad luck.

Because of this, in the last thousand years these crows have become more elusive, not just because of dwindling numbers but because they have learnt to avoid slimes. They spend most of their days fluttering around the canopy of the forest, catching flying insects at dusks and dawns and splashing in the cupped water of the umbrella trees.

Conservation

These birds have been hunted to the brink of extinction. There is an estimate of 1000 birds left in the wild, and with how fragile Unuth ecosystems are in general, it wouldn't take much to wipe these birds out. Many conservation groups are trying to convince native slimes to reconsider their views on these birds, as well as raising captive populations in breeding programmes.

The Sakara Birdwatching University is most known for their hundred gold-crested crows, in an aviary designed to raise chicks of this, and a handful of other, species.

History

Corvids generally have quite a rough history with people, as in so many cultures across the Yonderverse they're seen as bad luck. For slimes, it stems from goldcap, a disease that looks eerily similar to the golden pattern on this bird.

Goldcap appears as a golden cap atop a slime's head, which slowly solidifies their entire bodies. Slimes thought that these crows were the cause, and attempted to wipe out the entire species. Once their understanding of goldcap and diseases in general improved their beliefs were disproved, but some still hold on to them.

Scientific Name
Corvocristatus aurum
Lifespan
15 years
Average Length
15 - 20 cm
Average Wingspan
25 - 30 cm
Geographic Distribution

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Cover image: Osao Header by Mochi

Comments

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Oct 3, 2023 21:31 by Darren McHaffie

I'm tempted to do a silver-butt crow now....

Oct 4, 2023 05:52 by Mochi

*do it*

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.
Oct 4, 2023 02:42 by Polina "Line" Arteev

I love this birb and its pretty golden hat!!!


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Oct 4, 2023 05:52 by Mochi

Thank you!! <33

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.
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