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.
House Crow is well named. It is very sociable and noisy once established. This species lives near humans, cleaning streets and gardens, and perching on roofs, pylons and others poles.It feeds mainly on the ground, but also in trees or buildings. It is often seen near rubbish, slaughter-houses, markets and farmlands, beaches close to fisheries or near touristic complexes. It can travel more than 15 km for feeding. When giving its typical call « kwaa », it is perched with head held forwards, fluffed throat feathers and dropped tail. During the breeding season, it is seen in pairs, but it usually lives in groups of up to 50 birds. It may become aggressive against raptors.Courtship displays consist of mutual preening and bill-rubbing, occasionally followed by rapid copulation. This behaviour occurs in trees.
House Crow is often seen near towns and villages, mainly with harbour. It needs some trees too. This species is common in mangroves, coconut groves and plantations, particularly banyan trees. It is associated with human settlements throughout its range, from small villages to large cities. In Singapore, there was a density of 190 birds/km2 in 2001 with efforts to suppress the population in planning.
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.
The nominate race C. s. splendens is found in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh and has a grey neck collar. The subspecies C. s. zugmayeri is found in the dry parts of South Asia and Iran and has a very pale neck collar. The subspecies C. s. protegatus is found in southern India, the Maldives (sometimes separated as maledivicus) and Sri Lanka and is darker grey. C. s. insolens, found in Myanmar, is the darkest form and lacks the grey collar.
When in flight, we can see easily the long tail and the slender wings of the House Crow. It appears entirely dark, because the contrast between grey and black is difficult to see.
Created By: Zaid Ijaz
Edit By: nonePakpedia