Crows are a diverse and highly intelligent species. In the USA, crows have different variations, but they are similar to one another.
Something that many kinds of crows share in common is that they will eat other birds.
Do Crows Eat Other Birds?
Crows are omnivorous, meaning they eat plants and animals alike. When a crow eats another bird, it is usually out of convenience, such as an injured bird or unattended chicks. Crows will also kill crows outside their familial group when protecting mates or food sources. If a crow within their family dies, however, they will gather around and mourn the loss.
More on a Crow’s Diet and Habits
While crows do share some similarities with birds of prey, they do differ from their distant cousins.
When a crow does feed on another bird, it is almost always a smaller bird since crows are not equipped with large talons or sharp beaks to take on something larger than themselves.
Crows have also been known to steal the eggs or recently hatched chicks of other birds.
Crows are highly intelligent creatures and this, of course, carries over into their eating habits.
Crows have been known to drop nuts and seeds onto hard surfaces, such as rocks or even roads, to break them open. This oddly connects crows to otters, who use rocks to bust open clams.
Amazingly enough, studies have found that crows will use and even create tools out of sticks and other available resources to help them in their acquisition of food.
One study recorded crows solving a multi-part puzzle box to access food. This included the crow using multiple materials to create a single tool that was used to access the box.
Crows also take after the vulture. If a crow finds a dead animal, even another bird, it will eat the carcass.
While it may sound gross, this is actually a very important job. Animals that scavenge play an important role in keeping roads and other areas clean.
Additionally, crows can be harmful to some crops but also eat insects that infest certain crops.
Crows have also adapted to city life and have been reported eating from trash cans. They will even sort through a can that has been knocked over by other scavengers, such as raccoons or possums.
When a crow happens to eat another bird or mammal, this act is carried out on its own. Unlike a pride of lions, a crow “hunts” on its own.
Crows do, however, live in groups and they do function as a unit in specific situations.
For example, crows will work together to protect their territory or their young from outside forces.
Become a Friend to the Crows
If you are a crow lover, there are ways to make your yard an inviting place for crows.
Windchimes and other noise-makers are things to avoid if you want to attract crows since they are easily startled. Fake crows, such as figurines or “decoy” crows, will attract this highly social bird.
As with other birds you may want to attract, spreading nuts and seeds is a great way to welcome crows.
Additionally, if you follow a feeding schedule, crows will pick up on this and come to expect feeding times.
Frequently Asked Question About Crows Eating Other Birds
What should I feed a baby crow?
Baby crows require a soft diet with a lot of protein. Egg yolks and nuts are great protein sources. If you choose the latter, be sure to chop and soak the nuts before feeding the baby crow from the tip of your finger. However, a sanctuary is the best place for an orphaned crow and they can usually feed themselves by the time they are six weeks old.
Will Crows Eat Animals Other Than Birds?
Crows will eat a variety of small mammals. Infant rodents or even adult field mice and other small mammals may interest a hungry crow. As opportunistic feeders, they are not looking for anything that is going to be too difficult to acquire or that will fight back.
Are Crows Considered a Pest?
Some may call crows “pests,” but they are not. As opportunistic feeders, crows may think your trash looks like a meal, which can lead to a mess for you to clean up. Since crows will also steal the eggs from other nests, this can be frustrating if you are trying to attract a specific species to your yard. Crows have even been known to steal shiny objects of all kinds, but this is because of their intelligence and curiosity.
Crows may eat other birds and mammals, but they do not quite measure up to the status of “birds of prey.”
Crows also are not solely scavengers, making them a unique and interesting bird that feeds opportunistically.
They are often a misunderstood birds because their curiosity gets them into trouble and their tendency to steal eggs gives them a bad reputation.
Despite this reputation, they actually have a lot in common with birds people keep as pets. Crows can learn and remember faces, and they can even mimic sounds.
Crows are worth learning about and understanding.