What’s This Post About?
We all know crows as black birds that are incredibly territorial and aggressive. You may have at least been the victim of or seen someone else get mob attacked by crows. This is because they are extra careful about their young and breeding territories. If they find you in the vicinity, they might attack, perceiving a potential threat.
The real question here, though, is, do they act similarly in the presence of other birds? While the attack on humans is usually restricted to clamping their hair and rapidly batting their wings, an attack on other birds can even lead to death. After all, a flock of crows is called a “murder”.
Crows are often pretty vicious and end up killing other birds and even devour their nestlings. This may be to protect their territory and resources or even to scare larger birds through mob attacks. They, however, can also be hunted and killed by eagles and hawks.
Which Birds Do Crows Kill?
Crows will kill birds that are easily accessible, small, or weak. In addition, they may kill just to have a meal or because of conflicts on territory and feed.
Crows are one of several predators that prey on other bird species’ chicks and adults. They will murder and devour eggs, nestlings, and even adult birds. This is not a common occurrence, but forums reveal that pigeons, sparrows, and swallows are frequently mentioned as birds crow prey upon.
Even though many witnesses may attest to crows having an eye for other birds, there is no solid evidence or proof that crows consume a specific type or species of bird. Crows are omnivores, which means they can eat a variety of foods. As a result, they can eat almost everything.
Why Do Crows Kill Other Birds?
We cannot specifically name species that crows hunt as it is more circumstantial than a routine. However, we can narrow down birds that may come in crows’ murder radar. Crows kill nestlings, small birds, domestic birds, and dead birds because they are vulnerable or easily accessible.
Crows frequently prey on baby birds or nestlings abandoned by their mothers. Baby birds and nestlings are unable to defend themselves without their parent. As a result, crows find them easy prey. Crows tend to congregate around trees or homes because it’s where they locate eggs and chicks.
Crows will devour any bird with a body size that is smaller than them. Crows are smart enough to recognize whether or not a bird is hazardous to them. They may target large, easier-to-kill birds, but they prefer small species.
They may also kill domestic birds as they are pretty easy to locate. Crows can readily find them since they reside in open fields and yards.
Domestic birds like hens and pigeons are likewise relatively easy to kill. Or, at the absolute least, weakened as a result of minor mishaps. As a result, crows supplement their regular diet by preying on these birds.
DID YOU KNOW?
Crows prefer to kill pigeons when they are alone rather than when in a flock.
Chickens, especially mature chickens, are the sort of creatures that will fight back if they are mistreated. As a result, if crows attack chickens, they are more likely to devour the chicks or eggs.
Chickens as adults are overprotective of their young. If they assault chicks and eggs in front of the mother, it will undoubtedly result in a battle.
Crows are brilliant animals and will not do anything to jeopardize themselves or their family members’ lives. They will not get into fights that are dangerous for them. They take action after scrutinizing the size and health of the bird itself and whether or not it has a backup flock that can save it.
Do Crows Eat Dead Birds?
Crows have been spotted eating carcasses in the past. As a result, crows will devour any species of bird or even any other animal. They are constantly on the search for food opportunities and are known scavengers. They delve through roadkill or any other dead body of a bird that is lying about.
How Do Crows Eat The Birds?
Crows can easily prey on other birds since their bodies are soft and easy to pull apart. The eyes are one of the most delicate organs, and therefore the first area crows go for. Crows burrow into the brain after obtaining the eyes.
Many birds find it difficult to hack into a corpse. As a result, they rely on ripping off the soft portions and working their way inside if the structure is still intact. If it’s roadkill, the corpse will be open already. If this is the case, crows are more likely to skip the eyes and go straight for the juicy stuff.
How To Protect Small Birds From Crows?
It would be challenging to prevent crows from taking eggs and young birds as it is part of their natural habit. Everything you do to frighten the crows will also frighten the nesting birds. Even so, you may take certain precautions like nettings and scaring equipment to keep crows out of your neighborhood.
These are some of the safest and easiest ways to deter crows and keep the nestlings in your garden safe:
- Set up an adjustable bird netting.
- Make use of visual scaring techniques.
- Adjust the visual scaring equipment’s location.
- Add some fishing line or any other type of cable.
A stretchy bird netting can be used to defend a nest from crows if it has been discovered in your garden. You can also make grid patterns with fishing lines or other sorts of cable above the garden. It can keep the crows out.
A four-inch screen will prevent crows while allowing smaller birds to pass through.
You can hang some gleaming pie tins or CDs to scare the crows. You may also use balloons, scarecrows, and flags, as well as Mylar scare tape. Crows are intelligent enough to recognize that your equipment poses no harm to them. You may therefore confuse crows and keep them away by shifting these objects around.
You can consider exploring the YOFIT Horned Hawk Decoy for this very purpose.
Measures 15.7 Height x 7 Width, it is made of sturdy molded plastic and seems very realistic, scares away birds effectively.
Do Crows Kill Ravens?
Ravens are significantly larger than crows, but in 97 percent of sightings, crows are the ones that chased and assaulted ravens.
Scientists across North America have seen interspecies hostility between crows and ravens. Crows and ravens may kill each other for reasons, such as competition for food and habitat, or even because they prey on one other’s nests.
Crow aggressiveness toward ravens is most common during the crows’ breeding season (March-May), although it also happens during other times of the year, especially during winters. The timing of crow assaults on ravens implies that raven nest robbing is a significant factor driving crow interspecific hostility.
Outside of the mating season, particularly in the winter, crows attacked ravens, indicating that crows fight for food at this time of year or that crows disturb prospective nest predators in preparation for the breeding season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Crows usually fight with ravens in small groups, but there are instances of aggressiveness seen in one-on-one battles.
Do Crows Kill Other Crows?
Crows have been known to battle and kill one another. The most common reason these birds may battle is to protect territory borders, guard their partner, or secure some other resource. Combats between members of different families of the crows can be drawn out and even fatal.
Another reason for the excessive aggression is that the crow that was assaulted was already hurt. Their own kind frequently attacks birds who are injured, ill, or acting strangely. Crows are no different. One rationale for this conduct is that having an injured person around might invite predators, hazardous to others.
Do Crows Kill Larger Birds?
Hawks and owls are the primary predators and natural adversaries of crows. Crows also attack them, but the reason for this is very different. Crows appear to despise their natural opponents, and when they come across one, they strike in large, loud groups known as “mobbing”.
If they encounter an owl in the open, crows will harass, peck, irritate, and crowd it, occasionally to death. A group of furious crows would brutalize and sometimes murder a roosting owl encountered during the day.
According to research, crows can recognize objects attempting to harm them and communicate this information with the rest of the group. If an owl attacks or kills a crow, the remainder of the flock will eventually learn about it and seek vengeance at the next available chance, even if the incident did not occur recently.
DID YOU KNOW?
Crows tend to use daylight to their advantage and mob the owl when it is trying to sleep?
You might be wondering why a smaller bird like a crow would risk its life by chasing the much bigger and frightening Eagle. The probability of the chase or the attack leading to the death of the Eagle is low, but they do receive a tough battle. Crows attack eagles to protect themselves.
Given the size difference between crows and eagles, one may expect eagles to be more dominating. However, their different social behaviors make this possible. Crows are rarely alone and have deeper family relationships than other birds.
When the nesting season is through for the year, crow families occasionally combine with even bigger communal groups, which can number in the thousands. Because their power derives from numbers, they fly and dwell in flocks, frequently banding together to fend off predators or take food from other birds such as eagles.
This provides them a clear edge against lone birds such as eagles that rely on strength instead of a number to fight predators. This might work for them against other birds, but it is nothing but a disadvantage with crows.
In areas where their foraging ranges overlap, they will often steal food from eagles. It’s not uncommon to witness Eagles swooping down to capture a fish just to have it stolen away by a gang of crows.
When there are no other Eagles available to assist in the fight, there is frequently little alternative but to return and capture another food.
Do Eagles Kill Crows?
Bald eagles have been known to kill and consume baby crows and fully grown adults. If crows get overconfident and take unnecessary risks or engage in one-on-one combat with an eagle, they may misstep and be captured by a quick reflexive grasp of the Eagle’s claws.
Crows only attack eagles if it is required or when there are a large number of them. When crows utilize mobbing methods, eagles usually try to stay clear of them and flee. They will, however, always appreciate the opportunity for a quick meal when it presents itself.
Do Owls Kill Crows?
Owls can eat crows but most often do not. The reason crows aren’t eaten more frequently is probably that their mobbing, pursuing, and attacking technique serves as a good defense. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem because, given a chance, an owl would happily devour a crow.
Do Hawks Kill Crows?
Hawks eat various species, including tiny birds, rodents, giant snakes, and even fish. As a result, crows aren’t an exception. However, Hawks avoid crows in general, presumably to avoid “mobbing” or pestering.
A crow is both clever and powerful. A hawk, on the other hand, is still a predatory raptor with razor-sharp talons. A hawk typically attacks a bird by squashing it with its claws. The crows are about the same size as a hawk, so they can’t just crush a crow’s life out of it.
A hawk would grab a crow in its claws and crush the prey under its weight. In addition, hawks may aggravate the crow’s distress by pulling its feathers. The animal typically submits to its own death as a result of this. Even if the crow is still alive, the hawk will ultimately consume it.
A hawk traveling through crow territory is unlikely to attack. However, they will not hesitate to attack a crow when:
- It is hungry and can quickly grab a crow in a matter of seconds.
- The crow is discovered to be alone.
- Has built a nest with eggs and hatchlings within.
Crows are both preys as well as predator birds. Nestling, fledgling, and adult crows are often all killed by larger birds, including eagles, hawks, and owls.
On the contrary, crows raid songbird and waterfowl nests as predators, killing and devouring freshly born young or breaking eggs. They often also attack and kill larger birds as a group. This is a clever technique of self-defense that dissuades them from making crows a target later on.
Now that you have read about crows killing other birds, read this interesting blog to find out if crows attack or hurt humans and the tips you can follow to avoid such an instance.
If you invade the personal space of crows, you can expect them to attack you. Read this post to find out how you can avoid crow attacks.
David A. Swanson
Bird Watching USA
My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!