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All there is to know about the Cape crow

They are highly vocal with a loud harsh kraa, kraa and liquid bubbling kwallop, kwallop often mixed in conversation calling.

THE Cape crow is also known as the black crow due to its entire black plumage.

A common to fairly common resident widespread in South Africa. They like open grassland, afroalpine meadows, cultivated fields, exotic plantations, acacia savanna and riverine trees in the desert.

They are usually found in pairs with permanent territory, sometimes solitary or in flocks of up to 50 birds. Non territorial birds may roost in flocks of up to 600 in trees or on telephone poles.

These crows forage on the ground, walking with long strides. In flight they have deep wingbeats, displaying with rapid little wingbeats below their bodies. Their food is omnivorous, insects, frogs, fallen grain, also carrion.

They are highly vocal with a loud harsh kraa, kraa and liquid bubbling kwallop, kwallop often mixed in conversation calling.

They call from a perch in a tall tree, on telephone poles or earth mound by bowing and puffing up head, raising their tail and flicking their wings.

Breeding takes place from July to January.

The nest is a large bowl of sticks thickly lined with wool, fur, cloth, string, feathers and dry dung. Located among thin branches of a tall tree, fork of a thorn tree or top of a telephone pole, two to 24 metres above ground.

Usually four pink speckled eggs are laid. Incubation is 18 to 19 days and nestlings for 35 to 39 days. They are dependent on food from parents for three months and can remain with them for six months before moving away.

The isiZulu name is iNgwababane and in Afrikaans die swartkraai.  

 

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