Pied Crow (Corvus albus)Olifants Camp (Oct'06)Other Names:
French: Corbeau pie
Portuguese: Gralha-seminaristaScientific Classification:
The Pied Crow (46-52 cm) has a heavy bill and a white collar and breast that contrasts with its otherwise entirely glossy blue-black plumage. Sexes are alike. It is well known and widespread throughout much of southern Africa and the only white-bellied crow in the region.
Its call is a loud kwaak
, and snoring khrrrr
, often heard while the bird is in flight.Habitat:
Open savanna woodland, dwarf shrublands, farmlands, suburban and urban areas. In general, closely associated with human settlements.General Habits:
Usually in pairs or small flocks, sometimes flocks of up to 300. Roosts in trees and on utility poles in the Karoo, and in trees and buildings in urban and suburban areas, where roosts may contain several thousand birds.Foraging and food:
In many regions, this scavenger enters towns and villages, frequenting schools playing fields, agricultural lands, refuse damps and KNP rest camps, in search of food. Forages mainly on ground, searching bases of plants. Omnivorous, but eats mostly plant material, including fruits. Reputed to eat hen's eggs by rapping egg against a branch and eating dripping contents. Kills small birds; eats dove nestlings in urban areas.Breeding:
Monogamous, territorial. The nest is built by both sexes and consists os a large bowl of sticks and twigs, sometimes including wire and sometimes only of wire; thickly lined with fur, dry dung, sheep's wool or rags. Laying dates: Throughout southern Africa, July-January.