Madam - Indian Crows in a rowSo following on from recent posts about dragonflies and lizards and the like, it seemed time to discuss crows.

India, is awash with crows. They really are everywhere.

The sound of the city at dusk, any city in India, is roosting crows.

And man, is that a loud sound. Sometimes almost deafening.

They bicker, they argue, they gossip. They talk to their pals on distant trees and then bitch to their pals nearby about what was said. They epitomise ‘social’ in an animal setting.

When you first arrive, the most notable sounds of the city are not traffic and shouting (though there’s that too), but the sound of crows and barking dogs.

Interestingly crows here don’t look like they do in Europe – they’re not all black. They have a rather fetching grey hood. An American pal newly arrived, simply refused to believe that what I was pointing at was the Indian Crow. He got quite vociferous on the subject – but then he was rather jetlagged at the time. Plus he probably hadn’t had a lot of sleep due to the deafening ‘crow chorus’ every morning. It takes rather a lot of getting used to.

Madam - Indian Crows en masseAnd once you’re awake and enjoying your breakfast, you need to be on complete ‘crow watch’, to stop them making off with your toast.

The picture at the top of the page – the one with them all on the roof, resembling extras from Hitchock’s Birds – is actually them lining up in Kerala a few weeks back, in the hope of making it away with my food.

So, eating outside is an interesting mix of relaxing followed by sharply realising you’ve lost concentration and you’re surrounded by shiny black (but not entirely black) birds edging in to have it away with your toast. At which point you have to leap up and make startled shooing noises.

It’s a hectic life if you want to stay attached to your toast.


I’ve got a little video on the way, illustrating some of the sounds of dusk in India. Part of the Rethink ‘1 min holiday’ series, that’s coming very soon.

And if you’d care to read some more bird related posts, check these posts out as well:

Eagles on my roof
Crows are the new black
Video : The crow chorus at dusk 

That last little video will give you that crow feeling and more importantly sound…