Breeding Biology

Their breeding season varies somewhat in different parts of the House Crow’s native and introduced range.  In India, the main breeding season is March to August, with a secondary period in October to December, in some areas.  They are monogamous and seem to pair for life, although promiscuity is common.  Pairs spend much of their time perched close together with frequent head preening, particularly during the lead up to breeding.  Copulation is brief and often secretive, but commonly attracts the noisy attention of nearby birds.House Crow

House Crows are usually solitary nesters, but as they defend only a small nesting territory, there may be 3 or 4 nests in a large tree. Nest are built preferentially in leafy trees but, where trees are in short supply, man-made structures such as buildings, electricity pylon and bridges may be used.  The nest is typically positioned in a forked branch at 4 metres or above, usually well concealed among foliage. The untidy cup-shaped nest is constructed of course twigs, sometimes supplemented by wire, string and garbage, lined with fine material such as grass, hair and fibres.

A clutch of 4 or 5 pale blue-green eggs with brownish flecks is laid and incubation, probably by the female alone, lasts 16 to 17 days. Both sexes take part in nest construction and feeding the chicks.  The chicks fledge in a further 28 days or so.  Young crows have duller plumage than their parents and do not breed until their third year.  Within their native range, House Crow broods may be parasitised by the Koel Eudynamys scolopacea, a very common species of cuckoo.