Since we commonly see crows thriving, scavenging, and occasionally running smaller birds and animals away from neighborhood bird feeders, we might forget that crows, though bossy, are not at the top of the food chain.
Crows have generally received a very predatory reputation, but this isn’t far from the truth. Though they come with an air of gloom and doom, crows are incredibly smart.
It’s rare to witness them become a meal for another animal, leaving many people asking, what animals eat crows?
What Animals Eat Crows?
Larger birds, such as red-tailed hawks, owls, and eagles, never hesitate to turn a crow into a meal. Animals such as domestic cats, foxes, snakes, some species of squirrel, and raccoons are common predators of crows. Dogs have been known to eat crows as well, but are not a typical predator of the bird.
Common Crow Predators
Almost every animal in the food chain has a natural predator.
Even Great White Sharks fall victim to an Orca attack, so while we don’t think about it too much, it’s only natural that crows have various species of animal that like to eat them.
They walk around backyards and sidewalks with a lot of confidence, and many crows are pretty large, but that doesn’t save them from becoming the occasional dinner.
In fact, throughout the different stages of their lives, crows are vulnerable to predation from many backyard animals.
Larger birds are notorious for eating smaller birds, especially when it comes to raiding nests for babies.
You’ve probably seen small birds chasing away large birds such as hawks by pecking at them relentlessly. They’re protecting their well-being.
Large birds, especially hawks such as Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks, love to hunt crows.
Crows spend a lot of time on the ground, and while you may see a hawk swoop in for a kill, it’s more likely that they’ll go after the nest.
Certain species of owls are known to catch the occasional crow. Long-eared owls enjoy hunting and eating crows.
Eagles of all kinds are also known to kill crows for food.
Various snakes eat crows. Garter snakes, in particular, are often seen catching and eating crows as they walk along the ground, pecking at seeds and scavenging.
Of course, the size of the garter snake comes into question when discussing whether or not they’ll eat crows.
More considerable garter snakes with the hunting skill and confidence to catch and kill a crow are likely older or more mature.
Younger, inexperienced garter snakes will probably stick to smaller prey, such as mice and moles.
While foxes vary in size, most of them are big enough to catch and kill a crow.
Though known for being nocturnal, human encroachment has changed a little with the way and time frame that foxes hunt in, and it’s no longer unheard of to see them hunting during the day.
Daytime hunting puts crows on the menu, for sure.
These little bandits of nature have no problem eating crows, but they typically go after the nest.
Unlike foxes, raccoons remain true to their nocturnal hunting instincts, and they love to sneak up on unsuspecting crows and their babies.
Raccoons love to scavenge, and as much as they love to munch on human garbage, they love to consume dead animals.
Dead or alive, raccoons will definitely eat any crow that becomes available to them.
Domestic Cats and Dogs
While it’s unusual for domestic dogs to actively hunt and kill birds, they sometimes do, depending on the breed and how much time the dog spends alone outside.
Outdoor cats, on the other hand, are detrimental to wild bird species, crows included.
For a stalking domestic cat, a large crow is typically an easy catch. Cats are not natural predators for birds, and they can seriously damage a balanced backyard ecosystem unintentionally.
If your cat goes outside often, keep an eye on any dead birds that show up on your doorstep. If it’s a frequent occurrence, it’s time for your feline pal to stay inside.
I know, this one seems crazy, but there are specific species of squirrel that eat birds, crows included.
Eastern gray squirrels love to turn our feathered friends into dinner, and they absolutely have the ability to catch a crow.
While squirrels seem like an unlikely candidate, don’t let all the peanut and birdseed consumption fool you! Your backyard squirrels might be a danger to your backyard crows!
Frequently Asked Questions About What Animals Eat Crows
Why do other birds eat crows?
In most cases, hawks and eagles eat birds that are ill or weakened, cleaning up the ecosystem and keeping it healthy. They will also eat nestlings because they’re an easy target. Before you get too upset, remember that crows do the same!
Do crows have natural predators?
Like any animal, crows have natural predators. These include cats, hawks, owls, snakes, raccoons, and foxes!
How do other animals catch crows?
Crows are large and spend quite a bit of time on the ground, making them a semi-easy target as far as birds are concerned. Also, an unhealthy crow is a simple hunt for a hungry predator.
The Circle of Life
The animals that eat crows are partaking in what we know as the circle of life, nature at its finest.
While crows definitely play their predatory part, it’s fascinating to know which animals they fear, and some of them are probably not what you expected!
Read about what do crows eat themselves next.