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Corvidae
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General

Information is from dictionaries and other sources. Comments and corrections welcome. Hover over Green Lettering Green lettering at this site hides a tool tip with glosses, further explanations, etc. Hover cursor to reveal. to see additional information.

The Corvidae include several very familiar birds, including crows, magpies, and jays.

1. There are two words for 'crow' in Chinese: and . The first is now generally used in the meaning 'black'. In modern spoken Chinese the two are combined as 烏鴉 wū-yā 'black crow'.

Both terms are onomatopoeic. In Early Middle Chinese has been reconstructed as ʔɔ and as ʔai or ʔɛ (Pulleyblank). It has also been suggested (Schuessler) that the two were ultimately the same word at an earlier stage in the language (roughly ʔa).

The Eurasian jay is known in Chinese as 松鸦 sōng-yā 'pine crow'.

2. In more colloquial usage, crows may be known as 老鸹 lǎo-guā 'old gua' in the north of China and 老鸦 lǎo-yā 'old crow' in the south. (However, lǎo-yā, written 老鸭, is more generally applied to a style of duck meat.) guā is clearly onomatopoeic. lǎo 'old' is used in a number of bird and animal names, including those of the eagles.

3. Pica pica is a familiar bird known as què in the written language and 喜鹊 xǐ-què in the vernacular, where means 'happy' or 'auspicious'. The name què is onomatopoeic for the bird's chatter, and was pronounced tsʰɨak in Early Middle Chinese (Pulleyblank). In certain styles of vernacular usage, 乌鹊 wū-què 'crows and magpies' may also be used for the magpie.

Another familiar magpie is the Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus), known as 灰喜鹊 huī xǐ-què 'grey magpie' in popular and ornithological usage.

Chinese also has older names for the Corvidae, including names from sources such as the Compendium of Materia Medica from the Ming dynasty and modern vernacular names. For the jays, the Japanese loanwords 橿鸟 jiāng-niǎo and 㭴鸟 jiān-niǎo may also be found in literature, mainly because many E-C dictionaries still carry them as a translation for 'jay'.

Ornithological usage

Ornithological Chinese names for members of the Corvidae generally use either the character 'crow' or the character què 'magpie', although some crow species use the colloquial term 乌鸦 wū-yā 'black crow'.

is used for the following genera:

1. Corvus (crows proper) generally use 'crow'. For example, the Jackdaw is known as 寒鸦 hán-yā 'cold crow'. However, a number of crows are known ornithologically as 乌鸦 wū-yā 'crow', using the vernacular name.

2. 山鸦 shān-yā 'mountain crow' is used for the choughs (Pyrrhocorax).

3. 噪鸦 zào-yā 'noisy crow' is used for the Perisoreus jays.

4. 松鸦 sōng-yā 'pine crow' is used for the Garrulus jays.

5. 地鸦 di-yā 'ground crow' is used for the Ground-jays (Podoces).

6. 星鸦 xīng-yā 'starred crow' for the Nutcracker (Nucifraga).

The name què is used ornithologically for:

1. 喜鹊 xǐ-què 'auspicious magpie' for the Eurasian magpie (Pica) and the Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica). This is the vernacular name for the magpies. Other names use the written form què 'magpie'.

2. 蓝鹊 lán-què 'blue magpie' for the blue magpies (Urocissa).

3. 绿鹊 lǜ-què 'green magpie' for the green magpies (Cissa).

4. 树鹊 shù-què 'tree magpie' for the treepies (Temnurus, Crypsirina, Dendrocitta).

CULTURAL

In legend, the magpie plays a romantic role in the story of Altair (the Herd Boy) and Vega (the Weaving Girl), lovers separated by the Milky Way. On one day of the year, the seventh day of the seventh month, the magpies (generally written 喜雀 xǐ-què 'auspicious sparrow' in this context) fly up from the earth and form a bridge for the lovers to meet. This day, 七夕 qīxī, is the Chinese version of Valentine's Day.

Crows are regarded less favourably. Chinese has a number of expressions relating to crows, of varying degrees of currency:

天下的乌鸦一般黑 tiānxià de wūyā yībān hēi 'all crows in the world are black' -- Evil people are evil wherever you find them.

老鸹窝里出凤凰 lǎoguā wō-li chū fènghuáng 'a phoenix born in a crow's nest' -- A person of exceptional talent born in humble circumstances.

乌头白,马生角 wūtóu bái, mǎ shēng jiǎo 'a white crow's head, a horse grows horns' -- Something that is not possible.

乌鸦落在猪身上,只见人黑不见己黑 wūyā luò-zài zhū shēn-shang, zhǐ jiàn rén hēi bú jiàn jǐ hēi 'the crow alights on a pig's back: can only see other people are black, but unable to see that oneself is also black' -- Laughing at others when you yourself are no better.

The character is used as an adjective for black. 乌黑 wū-hēi means 'pitch black'.

In ancient Chinese legend, the sun was described as 金乌 jīn-wū 'golden crow'. Originally there were ten of these crows taking turns to cross the sky, but when all ten decided to come out at once, parching the land and crops, the heroic archer Houyi shot down nine of them.

Species names

› ABOUT THIS TABLE‹
SCIENTIFIC & ENGLISH
CHINESE
JAPANESE
OTHER
Dendrocitta
Latin
English
Chinese (Taiwan)
Chinese (Mainland)
Other Ch
Japanese
Other J
Korean
Vietnamese
Dendrocitta formosae
Crypsirina formosae
link to photo
Grey treepie
Himalayan tree pie
(树鹊)
樹鵲
shù-què
'tree magpie'
灰树鹊
(灰樹鵲)
huī shù-què
'grey tree magpie'
  タイワンオナガ
(台湾尾長)
taiwan o-naga
'Taiwan long-tail'
    Chim Choàng choạc xám
'grey treepie (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
Urocissa
Latin
English
Chinese (Taiwan)
Chinese (Mainland)
Other Ch
Japanese
Other J
Korean
Vietnamese
Urocissa caerulea
Cissa caerulea
link to photo
Taiwan blue magpie
Formosan magpie
Formosan blue magpie
(台湾蓝鹊)
台灣藍鵲
táiwān lán-què
'Taiwan blue-magpie'
台湾蓝鹊
(台灣藍鵲)
táiwān lán-què
'Taiwan blue-magpie'
台灣暗藍鵲
(台湾暗蓝鹊)
táiwān àn-lán-què
'Taiwan dark blue-magpie' (6)
山娘
(山娘)
shān-niáng
'mountain mother'
ヤマムスメ
(山娘)
yama-musume
'mountain daughter'
     
Garrulus
Latin
English
Chinese (Taiwan)
Chinese (Mainland)
Other Ch
Japanese
Other J
Korean
Vietnamese
Garrulus glandarius
link to photolink to photo
Eurasian jay
Jay
(松鸦)
松鴉
sōng-yā
'pine crow'
松鸦
(松鴉)
sōng-yā
'pine crow'
橿鸟
(橿鳥)
jiāng-niǎo
'oak bird'
㭴鸟
(樫鳥)
jiān-niǎo
'oak bird'
塞皋
(塞皋)
sāigāo
'saigao' (35, from Zool. Nomen.)
屋鸟
(屋鳥)
wū-niǎo
'room/house bird'
山和尚
(山和尚)
shān héshang
'mountain monk' (also used for the Hoopoe)
松鸦
(松鴉)
sōng yā
'pine crow' (vernacular, early ornithological) (35)
カケス
(懸巣 ~ character for kakesu)
kake-su
'hang-nest'
カシドリ
(橿鳥 ~ 樫鳥)
kashi-dori
'oak bird'
ヤマガラス
(山烏 ~ 山鴉)
yama-garasu
'mountain crow' (also used for rook and large-billed crow)
어치
eochi
'jay'
Chim Quạ thông
'pine crow (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
Pica
Latin
English
Chinese (Taiwan)
Chinese (Mainland)
Other Ch
Japanese
Other J
Korean
Vietnamese
Pica pica
link to photolink to photo
Eurasian Magpie
Common Magpie
Black-billed magpie
Magpie
(喜鹊)
喜鵲
xǐ-què
'magpie'
喜鹊
(喜鵲)
xǐ-què
'magpie'

()
què
'magpie' (35, from Zool. Nomen.)
喜雀
(喜雀)
xǐ-què
'auspicious sparrow' (written variation)
干鹊
(乾鵲)
gān què
'dry magpie' (35, from Materia Medica)
神女
(神女)
shén-nǚ
'goddess' (35, from Materia Medica)
飞驳鸟
(飛駁鳥)
fēi-bó-niǎo
'flying variegated bird' (35, from Materia Medica)
野鹊子
(野鵲子)
yě quèzi
'wild magpie'
カササギ
()
kasasagi
'magpie'
カチガラス
(勝ち烏)
kachi-garasu
'winning crow'
チョウセンガラス
(朝鮮烏)
chōsen garasu
'Korean crow'
コウライガラス
(高麗烏)
kōrai garasu
'Korean crow'
까치
kkachi
'magpie'
Chim Ác là
' crow₁ (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
or
Chim Bồ các
'bồ các (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
Nucifraga
Latin
English
Chinese (Taiwan)
Chinese (Mainland)
Other Ch
Japanese
Other J
Korean
Vietnamese
Nucifraga caryocatactes
link to photo
Eurasian nutcracker
Spotted nutcracker
Nutcracker
(星鸦)
星鴉
xīng yā
'starred crow'
星鸦
(星鴉)
xīng yā
'starred crow'
星鸟
(星鳥)
xīng-niǎo
'star-bird' (northern) (35, from Zool. Nomen.)
葱花儿
(蔥花兒)
cōng-huār
'onion flower' (northern) (35)
葱头翁
(蔥头翁)
cōng-tóu-wēng
'onion-headed grandfather' (northern) (35)
ホシガラス
(星烏 ~ 星鴉)
hoshi garasu
'starred crow'
ダケガラス
(岳烏)
dake-garasu
'mountain peak crow'
タケガラス
(岳烏)
take-garasu
'mountain peak crow'
잣까마귀
jat-kkamagwi
'pine-nut crow'
 
Corvus
Latin
English
Chinese (Taiwan)
Chinese (Mainland)
Other Ch
Japanese
Other J
Korean
Vietnamese
Corvus dauuricus
link to photolink to photo
Daurian jackdaw (东方寒鸦)
東方寒鴉
dōngfāng hán-yā
'eastern cold crow'
达乌里寒鸦
(達烏里寒鴉)
dáwūlǐ hán-yā
'Daurian cold crow'
Taiwan formerly:
(寒鴉)
寒鸦
hán-yā
'cold crow' (general) (35)
慈鸟
(慈烏)
cí wū
'kind crow' (35, from Zool. Nomen.) (also used for Corvus monedula)
小山老鸹
(小山老鴰)
xiǎo shān lǎo-guā
'small mountain crow' (general) (35) (also used for Corvus monedula)
麦鸦
(麥鴉)
mài-yā
'grain crow' (southern vernacular) (35)
燕乌
(燕烏)
yàn-wū
'swallow crow' (general) (35, from Zool Nomen.)

()
bēi
'(now used for the bulbuls)' (Erya) (35)
鶋鹎鸟
(鶋鵯鳥)
'jū-bēi niǎo'
'jubei bird' (Erya) (35)
孝鸦
(孝鴉)
xiào yā
'filial crow'
コクマルガラス
(黒丸烏 ~ 黒丸鴉)
koku-maru garasu
'black circle crow'
カンガラス
(寒烏 ~ 寒鴉)
kan-garasu
'cold crow'
フユガラス
(冬烏 ~ 冬鴉)
fuyu-garasu
'winter crow'
갈까마귀
gal-kkamagwi
'autumn ? crow'
 
Corvus frugilegus
link to photo
Rook (秃鼻鸦)
禿鼻鴉
tū bí yā
'bald-nosed crow'
秃鼻乌鸦
(禿鼻烏鴉)
tū bí wū-yā
'bald-nosed crow'
山乌
(山烏)
shān-wū
'mountain crow' (35, from Zool. Nomen.)
山老公
(山老公)
shān lǎo-gōng
'mountain husband' (vernacular) (35)
老鸹
(老鴰)
lǎo-guā
'old crow' (vernacular) (35)
风鸦
(風鴉)
fēng-yā
'wind crow' (southern) (35)
ミヤマガラス
(深山烏 ~ 深山鴉)
mi-yama garasu
'deep mountain crow'
ヤマガラス
(山烏 ~ 山鴉)
yama-garasu
'mountain crow' (also used for 'large-billed crow' and 'jay')
떼까마귀
tte-kkamagwi
'flock ? crow'
Quạ đen mũi trọc
'shaven-nosed black crow'
(Wikipedia)
Corvus corone Carrion crow (小嘴乌鸦)
小嘴烏鴉
xiǎo-zuǐ wū-yā
'small-billed crow'
小嘴乌鸦
(小嘴烏鴉)
xiǎo-zuǐ wū-yā
'small-billed crow'

()

'crow' (35, from Zool. Nomen.)
小嘴乌
(小嘴烏)
xiǎo-zuǐ wū
'small-billed crow' (35)
老鸦
(老鴉)
lǎo-yā
'old crow' (35)
老鸹
(老鴰)
lǎo-guā
'old crow' (vernacular) (35)
食腐肉乌鸦
(食腐肉烏鴉)
shí fǔròu wū-yā
'eat-carrion crow'
ハシボソガラス
(嘴細烏 ~ 嘴細鴉)
hashi-boso garasu
'slender-billed crow'
  까마귀
kkamagwi
'crow'
Chim Quạ mỏ nhỏ
'small-billed crow (bird)' (12, 34)
Corvus pectoralis
Corvus torquatus
link to photo
Collared crow (玉颈鸦)
玉頸鴉
yù jǐng yā
'jade-necked crow'
白颈鸦
(白頸鴉)
bái-jǐng yā
'white-necked crow'
白脖老鸹
(白脖老鴰)
bái-bó lǎo-guā
'white-throated crow' (northern vernacular) (35)
白脖乌
(白脖烏)
bái-bó wū
'white-throated crow' (35)
燕白脰乌
(燕白脰烏)
yàn-bái-dòu wū
'swallow white-throated crow' (Erya) (35)
玉颈鸦
(玉頸鴉)
yù-jǐng-yā
'jade-necked crow' (southern) (35)
鬼乌
(鬼烏)
guǐ-wū
'devil-crow' (Comp. Med) (35)
带领乌
(帶領烏)
dài-lǐng wū
'collared-crow' (early ornithological) (35)
クビワガラス
(首輪烏)
kubi-wa garasu
'neck-ringed crow'
    Corvus torquatus:
Chim Quạ khoang
'streaked crow (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
Corvus splendens
link to photo
House crow (家乌鸦)
家烏鴉
jiā wū-yā
'house crow'
家鸦
(家鴉)
jiā-yā
'house crow'
  イエガラス
(家烏 ~ 家鴉)
ie-garasu
'house crow'
     
Corvus macrorhynchos
link to photolink to photo
Large-billed crow
or
Jungle crow
Thick-billed crow
(巨嘴鸦)
巨嘴鴉
jù-zuǐ yā
'giant-billed crow'
大嘴乌鸦
(大嘴烏鴉)
dà zuǐ wū-yā
'large-billed crow'
  ハシブトガラス
(嘴太烏 ~ 嘴太鴉)
hashi-buto garasu
'thick-billed crow'
ヤマガラス
(山烏 ~ 山鴉)
yama-garasu
'mountain crow' (also used for 'rook' and 'jay')
큰부리까마귀
keun-buri-kkamagwi
'large-billed crow'
Chim Quạ đen
'black crow (bird)' (12, 13, 34)

中国鸟类种和亚种分类名录大全(修订版) 郑作新 著 科学出版社 北京 2000年
A Complete Checklist of Species and Subspecies of the Chinese Birds (Revised Edition) by Cheng Tso-Hsin, Science Press, Beijing 2000

中国鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2005年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of China Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2005

中国鸟类野外手册(中文版)约翰・马敬能、卡伦・菲利普斯,合作者:荷芬奇,翻译:卢和芬 湖南教育出版社 长沙 2000年
A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Chinese translation) by John MacKinnon, Karen Phillipps, in collaboration with He Fen-qi, translated by Lu Hefen, Hunan Jiaoyu Chubanshe (Hunan Educational Press) Changsha 2000

世界鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2002年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of the World Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2002

世界鸟类名称(拉丁文、汉文、英文对照)第二版 郑作新等 科学出版社 北京 2002年
Birds of the World (Latin, Chinese and English Names) 2nd ed. by Cheng Tso-Hsin et al, Science Press, Beijing 2002

中国鸟类分布名录 第二版 郑作新 科学出版社 北京 1976年
(Checklist of the Classification of Birds of China 2nd edition by Cheng Tso-Hsin, Science Press, Beijing 1976)

香港及華南鳥類(第六版)(翻譯成中文及重新修訂) 尹璉、費嘉倫、林超英 香港性徵特區政府新聞處政府印務局 1994年
Birds of Hong Kong and South China (6th edition, translated into Chinese and newly revised) by Clive Viney, Karen Phillipps, Lin Chaoying, Hong Kong Govt. Press 1994

Danh Lục Chim Việt Nam (In lần thứ hai) (Checklist of the Birds of Vietnam) Võ Quý, Nguyễn Cử, Nhà Xuất Bản Nông Nghiệp, Hà Nội 1999

Chim Việt Nam Nguyễn Cử, Lê Trọng Trải, Karen Phillipps; Nhà Xuất Bản Lao Động - Xã Hội, 2000

Danh Lục Các Loài Chim ở Việt Nam (Latinh, Việt, Pháp, Hán) Trần Văn Chánh 2008-2009

Chinese Birds (A Tentative List of Chinese Birds) 中國鳥類(中國鳥類目錄試編) N. Gist Gee, Lacy I. Moffett, G. D. Wilder (祁天錫, 慕維德, 萬卓志), Peiping, 1927 (reprinted 1948)