The Corvus splendens is offended. He thinks it's time he made an attempt at regaining the good name of his race.

It isn't fair! How can I be blamed for what happens behind my back? Do you think rather poorly of us because we are not colourful and beautiful birds? Are we judged unfairly by our dark plumage?

Crows have been maligned by Man. Myths and folklore portray us as evil messengers of Death. Writers paint a dark, gloomy, sombre and sinister picture of blackbirds. Now the rodents shoot off a letter saying we are dumb. If you have “corvusphobia”, I don't blame you.

We are not the noisy, crop-destroying pests as everybody thinks. I, the house crow — Corvus splendens, will make you eat crow, that is, make you realise you were all wrong about my family; perhaps, even make you apologise for ruining our name.

An amazing collection of facts about our family to stun you!

The crow family has 27 species that includes jays and magpies. Ravens, crows, rooks and jackdaws belong to the genus Corvus. While the ravens are the largest, over 50-cm long, the jackdaws are the smallest, only half the size of a raven. In India, house crow, jungle crow and raven species are found in great numbers.

Did you know that we are found everywhere except in South America and the Antarctica? I am truly a global citizen. I can say “Hello! How are you?” in many languages. “Habari! Hujambo? (in Swahili)”. “Hoe gaat het?” (in Dutch).

Not all species have the same call. Crows caw, rooks crow, ravens croak and jackdaws say “ichack”. I do not know why people thought the jackdaws were simpletons. So they gave it the name “daw” meaning just that. Actually, crows are highly adaptable, intelligent and spunky. Yes, I nearly forgot! Combine his call and “daw”, and you get his name.

We are omnivores, meaning we eat anything from grains to insects to dead animals; we are scavengers as well as a farmer's friends. We rid the crops of many thousands of harmful pests. I wonder how many farmers know that! Few, I guess or why would they put up a silly-looking scarecrow in their fields.

All crows love shiny, bright and colourful objects. They take them away to decorate their nests. That is not theft!

We have even contributed to language. The Carrion crow found in Europe, flies in a straight line. That is how the expression “as the crow flies”, meaning the shortest distance between two places, came to be.

Want to hear more positive things about us? We are social, friendly and fiercely protective of our young ones. We are a close-knit family, i.e., we share our food; and we mourn our dead. We adapt, innovate and survive.

Hey, wouldn't that make us the smartest and the fittest bird on this planet?

The splendid Corvus splendens

Reply from Aristotle

It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.

A Native American proverb for you!

Sala Kahle!”

Hey, don't get me wrong!

Surely you must know that's goodbye in Zulu!