Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Corvus splendens Vieillot, 1817

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Corvidae
Genus:Corvus
Species:C. splendens
Common Names:House Crow
Status:Common

Distribution

The House Crow is native to the Indian subcontinent and Myanmar.

Localities

The House Crow is widespread throughout Singapore and its offshore islands.

Locality Map

General Biology

The House Crow is found in all habitats except the forest interior. They roost communally in roadside trees.

It is a most aggressive bird, often mobbing raptors larger than itself - White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) especially when the latter is not threatening it; Brahaminy Kite (Haliastur indus); Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus), Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo), Barn Owl and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). There was an incidenct when the falcons were perching on the branches and one crow grabbed the tip of the branch causing the falcon to fly off whereby it chased the latter for a short distance - see HERE

Videos of a tame wild House Crow that allows strangers to pet and scretch its head as well as to feed it can be viewed HERE.

It has been known to attack cats, dogs, bats, etc. When breeding it will attack humans, especially when the chicks are fledging and have yet to master flight. 

Cases of albinism and leucism in crows have been reported.

Diet

House Crows are scavengers, hanging around city dumps to ea almost anything. They take fruits of the Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis), flowers nectar, insects, rats and dead bats. They steal grains from trucks and raid bird nests to feed on the eggs and chicks. House Crows regularly fish in shallow waters or even diving awkwardly into slightly deeper waters to get at the fish.

Life Cycle

It nests in trees using dried vegetation as nesting material. Sometimes it incorporates plastic and metals like pieces of wire and clothes hangers into the nest.

Ecological Role

It is the host of the brood parasite, Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea).

References

Wang, L. K., 2011. Crows. Pp. 281. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

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