Thais and the Large-billed Crow

posted in: Miscellaneous | 4

Recently Forest Ang visited the World Heritage site of Ayutthaya in Thailand and was surprised to see three crows with garlands round their necks (above). They look like the Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) and appear to have been “mist-netted and ringed”!

Is the Large-billed Crow sacred in Thailand? Are there Thais who venerate crows?

“Strangely, I did not see any living crows,” wrote Forest. “Anybody can provide an explaination?”

Note: Crows are often associated with the underworld. They are also considered harbingers of doom. Their black plumage and unnerving calls that can spread fear among people can be the reason of these beliefs. Also, being scavengers, they have been seen in battlefields feeding on the dead. In Hinduism, they are considered manifestations of bad tidings, like impending death. in Buddhism, they are regarded as defenders of Dharma (religious beliefs and practices).

4 Responses

  1. Interesting observation and not heard of this before. A painting on Thai monks & crows caused anger from the monks as the “crows in the painting represented greedy and evil spirits”. See:


    • Lim Sheau Torng

      If these monks get angry by merely an article depicting some hard facts, then I am afraid they are at the opposite end of the Buddha’s teachings.

  2. Perhaps you were looking at the display for Wat Tha Ka Rong, Monastery of the Landing of the Crying Crow.

    • A friend in Thailand says this temple has some rather exquisite birds kept in a cage there …and the most beautiful restroom of any temple she’s been to; it’s even air conditioned.

      There were also 3 well-trained crows. On one visit as she was exiting, she “felt something on my shoulder and it was this big ass crow using its beak to poke my head. There were 3 of them and it was not going to let me walk out without any donation.”

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