House Crow | Corvus splendens

Robert's Birding Information: House Crow

The House Crow is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Corvidae bird family group which includes birds such as Crows, Ravens.

The description for the House Crow (Latin name Corvus splendens) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Corvus splendens can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 549 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 721. You will find a picture of the House Crow on page 768.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the House Crow between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The House Crow has a height of 43 cms and weighs around 300 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Corvus splendens has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is black.

Back is black.

House Crow Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The House Crow is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The House Crow strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The Corvus splendens attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The House Crow eats the eggs of its victim.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The House Crow uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

The Corvus splendens forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

House Crow Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The House Crow is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 5 eggs and they are coloured grey.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.