Pied Crows are one of the common birds you can see on a visit to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. I saw many on my visit there late last year to visit my daughter who was teaching at an international school in the capital.
The birds shown in this set of photos were feeding on the school oval. The grass had just been watered and I suspect that this stirred up quite a deal of insect activity. In the last photo you can see a Yellow-billed Kite, a species that is also very common in and around the city. Every day during our 2 week visit I saw dozens of this species of kite. Sometimes the sky was filled with 50 – 100 of them soaring over the school and the surrounding suburb.
During our visit to Ethiopia last December the common corvid I observed everywhere was the Pied Crow (Corvis albus) shown in today’s photos. In the grounds of the school where my daughter was teaching they were very common, sometimes numbering 30 – 50 in the gardens, on the oval or flying noisily overhead. They were not slow at picking through food scraps left by the students and were very tame, often allowing me to approach to within a metre or two.
Pied Crows are found in a range of habitats from urban, farming, grasslands and woodlands as well as along lakes and rivers. It is found throughout Ethiopia as well as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and in parts of neighbouring countries. In fact, it is found in most areas south of the Sahara throughout southern Africa, making it the most widespread of any crow or raven in Africa.
For my Australian readers, the Pied Crow is about the same size as the Little Raven and Little Crow, but smaller than the Australian Raven. Its call is just as mournful but harsher and throatier than our Little Raven.