Indian crow, Grey-necked crow, Ceylon crow, Colombo crow, Indian house crow
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Flocking birds are those that tend to gather to forage or travel collectively. Avian flocks are typically associated with migration. Flocking also ...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The House crow is relatively small and slim-bodied, with long legs and plumage that is mostly black or blackish-slate. ‘Shining raven’ is the meaning of its scientific name, referring to its glossy, jet-black feathers around the face, chin, crown, and throat. Males and females are similar in appearance. Juveniles have duller plumage which does not feature the adults’ glossy black sheen.
The House crow is widely distributed throughout southern Asia, from southern Iran through Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh and into south-western China, southern Tibet, and central Thailand, as well as the Maldives. It has been introduced to places in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and several islands, such as Mauritius. A small population is established around St. Petersburg, Florida. It is typically a lowland species, found in both tropical and subtropical areas. Some, however, have been seen in Himalayan military bases. This bird is strongly associated with humans, living in cities, towns, and villages. Interestingly, no populations are known to live in areas where there are no people.
A House crow is very intelligent and is always wary and alert, walking or hopping along while flicking its wings nervously. It is a diurnal, non-migratory, social species and gathers in noisy flocks and forms massive roosts. The flocks may consist of hundreds or thousands of birds, and this species will also gather with parakeets and mynahs in plantations and mangroves. House crows return to their foraging grounds just prior to dawn. It is a very noisy species, with a rather dry, flat, toneless call described as a ‘kaaan-kaaan’ or ‘kaa-kaao’. During social interactions, they also make a wide range of softer, nasal calls.
House crows are omnivorous, eating rubbish, leftovers, debris, and sewage. They also eat lizards, fish, frogs, crabs, insects, nectar, fruits, the seeds of cereal, eggs, chicks, and small mammals.
House crows are generally regarded as monogamous, forming long-term pair bonds. However many individuals seem to be somewhat polygynandrous (promiscuous) when both males and females have multiple mates. The breeding season varies depending on the location. In India, it is from April to June, at the start of the wet season, while in East Africa it is between September and June. They are usually solitary nesters and typically nest close to human habitation. Nests are often in trees, but their untidy nests are also found on ledges of buildings, street lamps, and electricity pylons. 3 to 5 eggs are laid, very variable in shape and color, with an average of 4 per clutch. A female may produce two clutches per breeding season. Incubation is for about 15-17 days and is done by both parents, but at night it is mainly the female. Chicks stay in the nest for about 21 to 28 days, being tended to by both parents, on which they are dependent for several weeks more on leaving the nest.
House crows are abundant throughout their extremely large range, and are not considered as globally threatened. However, colonies of this species in many areas have reached pest proportions, have spread rapidly, and are regarded as invasive. They cause economic damage by destroying crops and fruit and eating the eggs and chicks of domestic poultry. Singapore, Yemen, and some islands have tried hard to control House crow populations, and have had mixed success. In Yemen in 1984–86, about 240,000 of these birds were killed during a control operation.
According to IUCN, House crow is very abundant and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. According to the Bird of India resource, the total number of House crows in India is around 34 million birds, including 19 100,000 or 19 million birds in urban areas and 15 000,000 or 15 million birds in rural areas. There are specific estimates of the species in the following areas: around 500,000 - 600,000 in the Mumbai city area; 133,000 con the Island of Singapore; and 5,500 on the Kharg Island in Iran. Overall, currently, House crows are classified as Least Concern (LC) and their numbers today remain stable.