Every day, we put out food for the crows and other birds before we begin eating. This has become so much of a habit that the minute we hear a crow sitting and cawing outside our window, Samhith says, "Mamma, haven't you given the crow its food today?"
The crows themselves are bullies and extremely choosy. Not only don't they allow any other birds anywhere near the food till they have their fill, but they don't eat all thats kept for them. Samhith is sometimes less of a problem! For one, the crows want Curd Rice all the time! If there is no curd rice someday, they make so much of a racket that sometimes we talk to them the way we talk to Samhith, and try to explain that we are sorry, but there is no curd rice at present, but we shall give them as soon as we cook! Thank Goodness we have no neighbours on that side, so there are no curious witnesses to this exchange.... otherwise, we would surely be classified as 'weirdos'! The crows then have to be pacified with rice or something else, or they just keep tapping on the window panes till we do so!!
Now, with such a relationship with the local crows, we have, off late, started noticing individual crows... the one with the high forehead... the one with a short beak.. one with a torn wing...... etc.... you get my drift...
Well, sometime back, we had another visitor - a jungle crow. To those who wonder what I am talking about, apparently, there are two types of crows - the house crow and the jungle crow. While the former have a slightly grey coloured head/neck, the jungle ones are all jet black, all over. This information is thanks to a few birding enthusiasts I know, and also thanks to Salim Ali's bird guide. Well, getting on with the story, I tried to take a photograph of the crow, so that I could confirm this, but was unable to. There seemed to be a number of them around, but just one which came to eat on our window sill. At least, only one at a time.... the house crows converge on our window in a group - sometimes as many as 10 of them!
Yesterday, I was surprised to see our jungle visitor again, this time alone. He seemed unaccompanied by his friends, and after tasting the curd rice we had kept, he simply went to sit on a nearby branch, giving me ample opportunity to take pictures. So, here is the result of my efforts. Well, I did take many photographs, but only this one turned out to be reasonably good enough to be posted.
I hope I have been correct in my identification. All you birding enthusiasts out there, please confirm. And can anyone explain what a jungle crow is doing in the middle of the city??????