Saturday, 24 March 2012

House crow

Corvus splendens

Photo by Anton Croos (Wikipedia)

Common name:
house crow (en); gralha-indiana (pt); corbeau familier (fr); cuervo indio (es); glanzkrähe (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae

This species originates from southern Asia, from southern Iran and Pakistan, throughout India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, and into Bangladesh and south-western Thailand. In recent decades, these birds colonized coastal cities in Australia, eastern and southern Africa, Europe, eastern North America and several island states, which they reached by travelling in ships.

These birds are 40-42 cm long and weigh 250-370 g.

The house crow is only found in human settlements, especially in industrial areas.

These birds are omnivorous, feeding largely on human refuse, but also taking small reptiles, insects and other invertebrates, eggs and nestlings of other birds, small mammals, fishes, frogs, crustaceans, cereal grains, fruits and nectar.

Within their native range, house crows breed in March-July. The nest is a large bowl of sticks and wires, lined with soft plant and animal fibres. It is usually placed in a fork of a tree, or less often on a telephone pole or in a building. There the female lays 3-6 pale blue-green eggs with brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 16-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 21-28 days after hatching, but only becoming fully independent several weeks later. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be very abundant within human settlements. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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