Corvus splendens (House crow)
Huiskraai [Afrikaans]; huiskraai [Dutch]; Corbeau familier
[French]; Glanzkrähe, Hauskrähe [German]; Gralha-indiana [Portuguese]
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
Order: Passeriformes > Family: Corvidae
Distribution and habitat
Originally from Asia, it self-introduced itself to cities
in Malaysia, the Indian Ocean Islands, East and southern Africa. Here it has
localised populations in Cape Town, Durban, Maputo and Inhaca Island in southern
Mozambique, where it is most common. It occurs exclusively in urban and suburban
areas, especially industrial areas and informal settlements.
Omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of animals and plants.
It especially favours birds, stealthily searching for nests on the ground. The
following food items have been recorded in its diet:
- birds eggs and nestlings
- ectoparasites taken off livestock
- small mammals
- cereal grains
- Its breeding habits are little known within southern Africa, but it is
thought to be a monogamous, usually solitary nester. However in East Africa
it occasionally nests colonially, with up to 6 nests in one tree.
- The female does most of the work on the nest which is a large bowl of
sticks and wire, lined with soft plant and animal fibres. It is usually
placed in the fork of a tree, or less often on a telegraph pole or in a
- It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female for about
- Both parents care for the chicks, who stay in the nest for 21-28 days,
becoming independent several weeks later.
A destructive alien species preying on the chicks and eggs
of other birds.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of
southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book
Fund, Cape Town.