Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

House Crow (Corvus splendens)


French: Corbeau familier German: Glanzkrähe Spanish: Cuervo indio

Corvus splendens


, 1817,

Bengal, India


Perhaps close to, and an early offshoot of, the “C. macrorhynchos complex”, as suggested by head-and-bill shape; overlaps with members of that group, but ecologically somewhat separated. Races zugmayeri and protegatus intergrade with nominate in India. Birds from Maldive Is described as race maledivicus, but characters suggest ancestry of mixed races, and perhaps introduced on the islands long ago; probably best treated within protegatus. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. zugmayeri Laubmann, 1913 – SE Iran and C & S Pakistan E to NW & NC India.
  • C. s. splendens Vieillot, 1817 – most of peninsular India (excluding NW part and coastal Kerala) and Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and SW Myanmar.
  • C. s. protegatus Madarász, 1904 – SW India (S from N Kerala and W Tamil Nadu), Sri Lanka and, perhaps introduced, Laccadive Is and Maldive Is.
  • C. s. insolens A. O. Hume, 1874 – extreme S China (S Xizang and S Yunnan) and Myanmar (including Tenasserim), formerly also SW Thailand.
  • Introduced and feral populations around the world (USA, Europe, E Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean islands, E & SE Asia, Australia)#R#R.

    Descriptive notes

    40–43 cm; 245–371 g. A relatively small (size not apparent in the field), rather slim-bodied, somewhat "leggy" crow with comparatively long, prominent,... read more


    Very vocal. Usual call a flat and toneless, dry “kaaan-kaaan”, softer than that of... read more


    Always found in association with man, in variety of tropical and subtropical habitats. Abundant... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous scavenger, feeding on all manner of crops, invertebrates, vertebrates. Main diet composed of discards and scraps foraged from... read more


    Season varies according to location, in India as a whole favoured months Apr–Jun, at start of wet season, but younger birds (15... read more


    Resident. Short-distance movements not uncommon.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant throughout native range; perhaps even more abundant at certain sites where long introduced, either intentionally or by ship-... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). House Crow (Corvus splendens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).