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House Crow - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Indian Crow; Indian House Crow; Grey-necked Crow; Colombo Crow

Nominate subspecies, pair nesting in the neighborhood tree
Photo by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, 12 May 2011
Corvus splendens


40 - 43cm (15¾-17 in). A small and slim-bodied crow.

  • Prominent, long black bill, slightly arched and enhanced by short forecrown
  • Plumage blackish-slate, blacker and glosser on face, forecrown, chin and throat
  • Mantle, side of neck and side of breast medium-grey, shading into blackish-grey on back and belly. Much paler grey in zugmayeri, with almost no contrast to black in insolens
  • Dark brown iris
  • Black legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller than adults.

Similar species

Photo by AJDH
Badaan Farm, Bahrain, 6 June 2008

The subspecies insolens may be confused with Large-billed Crow. Note the shape of the head and the size.


Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and India, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal and coastal southern Iran. Spreads to Eastern Africa (as blind passengers on ships) and the Middle East.
Abundant in most of its range.



This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 5 subspecies:

Introduced populations in many cities and harbours around the Indian Ocean and beyond. Occurs in the Western Palearctic in Egypt and Israel. Sometimes in European ports like Rotterdam.

subspecies protegatus
Photo by Dave Smith
Sri Lanka, August 2003


In a variety of tropical and subtropical habitats, usually near cities, towns or villages.


Usually seen in groups, sometimes big flocks. Has little fear of man but is always alert and constantly wary.


Diet includes human scraps, small reptiles and other animals such as insects and other small invertebrates, eggs, nestlings, grain and fruits.
Does great damage to crops and known to kill newborn domestic animals.


Breeding season varies in its range. It lays 3-6 eggs in a typical stick nest, and occasionally there are several nests in the same tree. In South Asia they are parasitized by the Asian Koel.


A resident species with some short-distance movements.


Recording by Alok Tewari
Dist. Gurgaon, Haryana, India, Feb-2016
Call given by two birds one calling softly and other loudly.


Click images to see larger version


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

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