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  #1  
Old 08-23-2011, 07:32 PM
astro astro is offline
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Will crows hunt and kill other birds or are they opportunistic predators only?

Wiki doesn't really speak all that much to their hunting behavior. I know they are opportunistic predators of birds eggs and nestlings, but will they ever actually hunt and take another bird out of the sky the way a hawk will?

Last edited by astro; 08-23-2011 at 07:33 PM..
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2011, 07:55 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I've never heard of Crows exhibiting that sort of behavior; about the closest thing to such described in their entry on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's allaboutbirds.org site is that they "sometimes follow songbirds as they arrive from a long migration flight and capture the exhausted birds".

Last edited by zombywoof; 08-23-2011 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:17 PM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is offline
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Around here (Northwest Montana) they are the primary scavengers and will aggressively feed on any dead animal they happen to run across.

I doubt they would actively hunt and kill healthy birds. I have seen crows routinely mobbed by much smaller birds numerous times.

Last edited by dolphinboy; 08-23-2011 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:36 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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There are a lot of different species of crow. Some of them will actively hunt and kill animals as large as lambs. They will certainly take birds if they are able.

The thing to realise is that just because an animal will do something and wants to do it, that doesn't mean that it is able to do it.

I have to wonder why, if you recognise that crows will take birds the day before they are fully fledged, and you recognise that they will eat adult birds that are dead or injured, you question whether they will take birds from the air when they are able?

Are you just questioning their ability to manouvre so well as to do so? Crows are not designed as aerial predators, they really aren't that maenouvrable. However that's not really an issue, since obviously at some point before death a bird will become slow enough to be caught by by a crow in midair. I have seen a crow take a newly fledged kingfisher form the ground immediately after landing, so you can be certain that some crows have caught come birds in midair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphinboy
I doubt they would actively hunt and kill healthy birds. I have seen crows routinely mobbed by much smaller birds numerous times.
Owls, shrikes, hawks, kookaburras, snakes, cats, foxes and mongooses are also routinely mobbed by much smaller birds. Does that mean that they are also incapable of hunting and killing healthy birds.

A bird being mobbed is more of an indication that they do pose a threat to the mobbing birds than that they don't. Birds mob these predators to remove their ability to hunt by stealth. Once their cover is blown they tend to move on, which is the purpose of mobbing. I've seen birds mobbing goshawks and peregrines, which are certainly quite capable of taking other birds on the wing. What they can't do easily is take a bird that knows of its presence.

Last edited by Blake; 08-23-2011 at 09:38 PM..
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2011, 07:54 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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I once saw two crows antagonizing an abandoned baby rabbit in a field. The rabbit was small and couldn't run faster than the crows could fly, so he couldn't get away - but the crows seemed reluctant to take him head-on, so it was a bit of a standoff. The crows were definitely interested in eating him. I don't know what the outcome was (light turned green, I drove on before the conclusion).
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:10 PM
Dufus Dufus is offline
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I've never seen crows attack other birds nor have I seen them eat road kill. Are you guys sure you aren't confusing crows with buzzards?!

Crows have straight beaks just like all the seed eating birds. I often watch crows eating pecans in the pecan trees in my yard.

Buzzards and hawks have hooked beaks for eating meat.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2011, 03:27 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Crows are well known for eating carrion, although it's true that carrion is probably not the main part of their diet. They even have a species called the Carrion crow.

A crow eating a shark.

I have seen two crows getting mobbed by swallows (or swifts, can't tell the difference). They were only interesting in the nestlings/eggs. The swallows weren't very good at scaring them off though; the strategy of "let's all chase this crow while the other one attacks our unguarded nests" doesn't work too well. Throughout all of this, I am sure the crows could've taken down a bird or two, but did not even attempt it. They have also been accused of killing things in the past, but I'll bet there's little evidence at either extreme.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:36 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
They have also been accused of killing things in the past, but I'll bet there's little evidence at either extreme.
That simply isn't true.

If you want to bother to do a search of these boards, there is a large amount of evidence in peer reviewed journals and textbooks of crows killing animals as large as lambs and deer fawns.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:23 PM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
That simply isn't true.

If you want to bother to do a search of these boards, there is a large amount of evidence in peer reviewed journals and textbooks of crows killing animals as large as lambs and deer fawns.
I'm not hitting anything in google even suggesting that crows will tackle and kill animals this large. This is pretty spectacular behavior, and you would think it would rate a mention somewhere outside a non-net accessible textbook or journal.

Last edited by astro; 08-24-2011 at 08:24 PM..
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2011, 08:32 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I think people here may be referring to a variety of species, all commonly called "crows" in their local vernacular.

FWIW I assumed (rightly or wrongly) the OP was referring to Corvus brachyrhynchos, the very common medium sized bird we have here in North America.

Last edited by zombywoof; 08-24-2011 at 08:33 PM..
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2011, 10:48 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
I'm not hitting anything in google even suggesting that crows will tackle and kill animals this large. This is pretty spectacular behavior, and you would think it would rate a mention somewhere outside a non-net accessible textbook or journal.

Here.


I'm not sure what terms you used.
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2013, 10:41 PM
redpoppyboy1966 redpoppyboy1966 is offline
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Killer crows

Look folks I have personally seen many times Crows, not Black Birds, regular Crows that are all around my property eating Road Kill, and attacking my small baby chicks. I once looked up and saw a crow flying out of my yard with a chick alive and cherping in it beak. I also watched out my kitchen window just today as a crow attacked my favorite little chick and killed it and carried it away when my rooster started attacking the crow. I watched as the crow ate my little chick up on the roof of my house. Crows will kill and eat anything they can. The thing to try and do is not leave anything out that they can eat or drink, also decoys can help to keep them away.
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2013, 10:59 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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I witnessed two crows attacking a small puppy in a backyard. We ran them off but they had gone for his eyes and they were badly injured.
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2013, 12:13 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
I witnessed two crows attacking a small puppy in a backyard. We ran them off but they had gone for his eyes and they were badly injured.
I've witnessed a crow attacking me in my backyard.

If the zombies don't take over, the crows will...
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