It is a little-known fact that crows can be both predators and prey. As predators, they can even attack and injure other birds of prey. But they are also one of the most hunted birds in the wild. Crows are preyed upon by raptors, mammals, and reptiles, including falcons, owls, cats, raccoons, ravens, snakes, hawks and eagles. Others will simply steal eggs or chicks, while some of them attack mature crows. In this article, we’ll discuss what predators of crows are and what makes them the prey to such predators.
- 1 What Are Predators Of Crows?
- 1.1 The Top 16 natural Predators of Crows:
- 2 Predators Of Crow Eggs
- 3 Animals That Eat Dead Crows
- 4 That’s All, Folks!
What Are Predators Of Crows?
In the wild, crows are typically omnivores and opportunistic scavengers, feeding on both living and dead animals. That doesn’t mean that no other predator would target them for prey.
Many people might be surprised to learn that these corvids are also a source of food for other raptors, birds, reptiles, and mammals. All the predators that hunt crows will be mentioned in this article. We’ll start by discussing crow-eating raptors and other birds before moving on to reptiles and mammals.
The Top 16 natural Predators of Crows:
|Great Horned Owls||Red-Winged Blackbirds||Raccoons|
In fact, the crows’ eggs and fledglings have natural predators that are just waiting to snatch and eat them. All of the crows’ natural predators, including those that prey on their eggs, chicks, and corpses, will be covered in the following manner:
1. Bald Eagles
Since they are the apex predators, eagles eat most other birds and small rodents. One of the many birds that these powerful raptors hunt is the crow. They are targeted by these raptors, especially when they are alone and remain on the ground. This is due to the reason that crows in flight are more powerful than eagles.
Hawks are one of the crows’ natural foes and often attack them during the day. Most of the time, these raptors target young crows, especially nestlings and fledglings. This explains why so few young crows survive to grow up. To attack and hunt other birds, hawks use their well-developed limbs. Hawks have three frontal talons and one long posterior talon, which make up their limbs.
Falcons are another lethal raptor species that often prey on crows, just like eagles and hawks. They usually choose the risky way to chase and hunt crows. Crows are an easy target for falcons because they both live in urban areas, so crows are an easy meal for them.
4. Great Horned Owls
Even more so than other raptors, great horned owls pose a major threat to the crows. They are attacked by owls from behind. The owls hide behind the bushes before they go on the hunt. Additionally, because owls are nocturnal animals, it is easier for them to locate resting crows in a roost and attack them when there is no defense.
Even though they are both members of the same family, ravens are twice as big as crows. Therefore, it shouldn’t be shocking that ravens can attack crows. Crows and ravens usually engage in one-on-one battles when pursuing the same prey.
6. Blue Jays
Another member of the Corvid family is the blue jay. They might attack crows or other birds. Both birds are infamous for stealing and eating the eggs of other birds. Because they are both omnivores, they fight each other to compete for the same food source.
Kingbirds are idle birds that don’t always hunt and eat. They primarily eat anything they can find in their surrounding environment, such as fruits, seeds, and insects. If a crow or a murder of crows enters their living or breeding area, a kingbird can easily attack them. However, they are merely defending themselves in a normal response to danger.
8. Red-Winged Blackbirds
The red-winged blackbirds would only attack crows when they are in danger, just like the kingbirds. This fear may occur as a result of crows targeting their food, invading their territory, or attacking their chicks, eggs, and nestlings. Red-winged blackbirds may even kill the crows in order to defend themselves and their offspring.
Due to their small size, grackles are unlikely to attack an adult crow. But the grackles have a better chance of winning when they attack in a group. Grackles form a flock and fight crows when they see them in their territory. The lone crow is scared off by this and flees the area.
Both terrestrial and arboreal snake species have the potential to be a threat to crows. These snakes can attack crows from trees. For birds like crows, the snake’s camouflaged body makes it hard to spot them. The snake gets ready to attack once it has located its prey. Snakes hunt slowly, yet they usually succeed in killing their prey because of their clever strategies.
Cats are carnivorous animals that hunt birds as well. They are swift enough to quickly chase down a crow on the ground. Additionally, they have a habit of eating eggs and young crows, which makes them a strong crow predator. However, as the hunt for food continues, crows and cats can be seen fighting each other.
If dogs are near crows’ nests, fledglings, or eggs, crows will see them as a potential threat. Crows usually win when dogs and crows face off in a fight. Though, it is not uncommon to see a dog carrying a dead crow in his mouth.
The squirrels are known to prey on baby crows since they are small and very swift. Because of their size, it is natural to believe that they can’t defeat a fully-grown adult crow. This is why their primary prey is the crow’s eggs and chicks.
Raccoons are regarded as one of the most deadly predators of crows. To feed its hunger, a raccoon can attack, kill, and eat crows. Raccoons hunt crows as well as their eggs and nestlings. Crows can’t find a safe place to hide from raccoons since they’re everywhere.
It is unusual for a fox to catch and eat a crow. However, it’s not entirely impossible. If foxes have a chance, they can prey on crows on the ground, their nestlings, and eggs.
Opossums are likely to hunt baby crows and their eggs. They will eat the eggs if they have the chance. But since they are small creatures, they can be attacked and killed by a murder of crows.
Predators Of Crow Eggs
All about the animals that are crows’ natural predators was covered in the previous section. We’ll now talk about the animals that prey on crow eggs. We are aware of the fact that every bird has a set of predators ready to kill it even before it is hatched.
Crows defend their eggs and chicks with the same ferocity as other birds. All predators can, however, find a cunning way to get to their prey. Hawks, horned owls, arboreal snakes, cats, squirrels, opossums, red-winged blackbirds, and blue jays are the most infamous predators of crow eggs.
These predators feed not just on crow eggs, but also on other birds’ eggs. In order to attack the crows’ eggs and feast on them, they are always on the watch for them to leave their nest alone.
Animals That Eat Dead Crows
Common scavenger birds that can eat dead crows include vultures, eagles, kites, hawks, falcons, and great horned owls. Although great horned owls kill and eat crows at night while the crows are sleeping on their roosts, hawks hunt and eat crows during the day.
However, dead crows are not eaten by ravens, kingbirds, red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and blue jays. Occasionally, dead crows can be seen being taken away by stray cats and dogs. There is, however, no conclusive proof as to whether they actually consume the dead bird or not.
That’s All, Folks!
This brings us to the conclusion of this article. We now know that crows are hunted in the wild by a variety of predators. Even though the majority of their predators are avian, crows are attacked on the ground and in trees by a variety of other predators. Many crows have their nests raided, and they lose both their eggs and their chicks in the process. Even after they die, they are a delightful source of food to many of the predators.
Tawsif is the author of Birds Indeed, a blog celebrating the beauty and diversity of birds. With a Master’s degree in Law, Tawsif brings a unique perspective to the world of ornithology. Join Tawsif on their journey of discovery as they share their knowledge and love of birds with the world.