7. Corvus splendens.
The Indian House-Crow.
Corvus splendens, Vieill. N. Diet, d'Hist. Nat. viii, p. 44 (1817); Blyth, Cat. p. 90; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 559; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 298 ; Hume, Cat. no. 663; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 326; Oates, B. B. i, p. 398; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 251; Oates in Hume's N. E. 2nd ed. i, p. 8. Corvus impudiens, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 84 (1844). Anomalocorax impudicus, Hodgs., Gray, Hand-list, ii, p. 14 (1870); Hume, N. $ E. p. 413. Corone splendens ( Vieill.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 33; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 349.
The Common Indian Crow, Jerd ; Kowa, Pati-Kowa, Desi-Kowa, Hind, in various districts; Kag or Kak, Beng.; Manchi Kaki, Tel.; Nalla Kaka, Tain.; Karavi-Kaka, Kakum, Ceyl. ; Graya, Port, in Ceylon; Myan-Kwak, Manipur.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, lores, cheeks, chin, and throat deep glossy black ; nape, ear-coverts, the whole neck, upper back, and breast light ashy brown; wings, tail, and remainder of upper plumage glossy black ; lower plumage from the breast dull brownish black. The feathers of the throat are lanceolate; and the whole of the black portions of the plumage are highly resplendent with purple-blue and greenish reflexions.
Iris dark brown ; legs and bill black.
Length 17.5 ; tail 7 ; wing up to 11; tarsus l.9 ; bill from gape 2.
The Common Crow of India varies considerably in its coloration according to climate. The light parts of the plumage of birds from Sind and the dry portions of India are nearly white, whereas birds from Ceylon and the more humid portions of the peninsula have these partes very dark, nearly as dark as the Burmese species.
Distribution. Occurs as a resident throughout the whole of India from Sind and the Punjab to Assam, ascending the Himalayas to about 4000 feet, and down to Ceylon. Prom Assam this Crow extends southwards to Manipur and Northern Arrakan, and somewhere about these parts it must meet the next species.
Habits, &c. The Indian House-Crow is the most familiar of all Indian birds, being found in every part of the country, but more especially in towns and villages, where its numbers are very great and its habits obtrusive. It has in a great measure become domesticated while retaining its wariness. It is eminently sociable, and even in wild districts a solitary bird is seldom seen. It breeds from May to July in clumps of trees near villages, constructing a rough nest of sticks lined with grass and other soft materials. The number of eggs varies from four to six, four, however, being the usual number. The colour is some shade or other of green or pale blue, and the eggs are marked in various ways with sepia, olive-brown, and sometimes purple. They measure on the average from 1.44 to 1.06.