Cape Crow

© Nigel Dennis


Cape crow – Corvus capensis
Alternative common name – black crow

Cape Crow Appearance

The Cape crow is around 50 cm in length. This crow is black throughout. The head, bill, legs, feathers and eyes are black. This is the only glossy black crow in the region.

Cape Crow Diet

The Cape crow is omnivorous, with a broad range of food items including insects, lizards, termite alates (flying termites), frogs, tortoises, and domestic chickens. The Cape crow will also eat fruit and bulbs. It will scavenge at a carcass.

Cape Crow Breeding

The Cape crow is monogamous. The female is mostly responsible for building a large nest from sticks that are brought to the nesting site by the male. The nest is built on shrubs, trees or transmission poles. Two to three eggs are laid and are incubated by both parents for around 18 days, the young crows fledge at 30 to 40 days.
The Cape crow is one of the main hosts of the greater spotted cuckoo. It is estimated that 10% of nests are parasitised.

Cape Crow Behaviour

The Cape crow forages and feeds on the ground. Normally seen in pairs or small flocks. Roosts communally in trees.

Cape Crow Distribution and Habitat

The Cape crow is found across most habitats, from grasslands, open savannah and semi-arid shrubland. All of these areas have trees or woodlands for nesting and roosting. The Cape crow thrives in and around farmland.
The Cape crow is found throughout South Africa.