IdentificationThe House Crow is a slim, small to medium-sized crow with a flat crown, comparatively long legs and neck particularly when alert, and a substantial bill. The sexes are alike, though males are slightly larger on average. The adults are glossy black with a grey neck, upper back and lower breast, often with a brownish tinge. This hood varies in darkness between the races, with the palest race being centred in Pakistan. The bill and legs are black and the eyes dark brown. The tail is black, fairly long and has a rounded end. Juveniles are generally duller.
Facts Aboout House CrowIdentification is made easier by the fact that House Crows are never found far from human habitation, although they may forage in the nearby farmland and often follow livestock into pastureland, or search for food along river banks and seashores. They move around on the ground with a bold striding gait and have little fear of man, but remain cautious at all times and are easily alarmed. Commonly encountered in pairs or small groups, they are usually highly vocal, typically emitting a rather flat and nasal sounding “kaaa-kaaa” which increases in intensity and frequency between contact and alarm calls. They also gather in larger noisy groups at traditional roosts, food sources and when mobbing perceived threats.
Feeding strategiesHouse Crows are versatile and abundant commensals of man. They are omnivorous and feed primarily on refuse supplemented by stolen food, carrion, crops, young domestic fowl, nest-raiding and predation of small animals, including terrestrial and marine invertebrates. Like most other species of crow, House Crows have the intelligence to use a very wide variety of additional foraging strategies, such as searching for insects, picking ticks and opening up wounds on livestock, and picking discarded fish from the water surface.They forage around houses, parks, gardens, markets, among livestock and along the seashore. House Crows are typical Corvids in being intelligent and resourceful, but are unusual in being highly gregarious and in their commitment to life alongside human beings. They can reach high population densities in urban areas, especially within their introduced range and large groups may gather at sources of food. They need to drink regularly.
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