House Crow

The House Crow (Corvus splendens) is a common Asian bird which is native to India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Maldives and Laccadive Islands, South West Thailand as well as coastal southern Iran. It has been introduced to East Africa around Zanzibar and Port Sudan, and arrived in Australia via ship but has up to now been exterminated. It is associated with human settlements in all of its range, from small villages to large cities.

In size it is between the Jackdaw and the Carrion Crow being on average 40 cm in length. It is, however, relatively slimmer than either. The forehead, crown, throat and upper breast are a handsomely glossed black, whilst the neck and breast are a lighter grey-brown in color. The wings, tail and legs are black. There are regional variations in the thickness of the bill and the depth of color in areas of the plumage.

Its diet consists mainly of human scraps, small reptiles and other animals such as insects and other small invertebrates, eggs, nestlings, grain and fruits. Most food is taken from the ground, but if the opportunity arises they will take food from trees.

At least some trees in the local environment seem to be necessary for its successful breeding. It lays 3-6 eggs in a typical stick nest, and occasionally there are several nests in the same tree.

The voice is a harsh caaa-caaa

With the explosion of human population in the areas it inhabits, this species has also proportionately multiplied. Being an omnivorous scavenger has enabled it to thrive in such circumstances, given that western standards of hygiene infrastructure in the Indian subcontinent is uncommon. Moreover this species (like several other Corvus species) is known for its cleverness. Among bird hunters it is generally accepted that unlike most birds, these crows can instantly recognize a gun and take flight in an instant.