I heard a serious amount of cawing from our local crow neighbors, more than normal. I knew that meant there was a hawk around and grabbed my camerone to investigate. The angry mob was resting for a moment in my neighbor’s tree. I was able to get closer before the hawk flew off to find a less noisy place to hunt.
Mobbing is a tactic by which smaller, usually prey animals, gang-up on a predator to prevent from being eaten or their offspring eaten. Many types of animals do it. African buffalo mob lions, ground squirrels mob rattle snakes, fish mob turtles, meerkats mob foxes, the list goes on.
Many flocking birds such as chickadees, titmice, crows, terns, blackbirds, gulls, and mockingbirds will mob an enemy if it gets close to their nesting area. Flocks will work cooperatively to scare off the possible threat. Birds do this by a combination of tactics. Most smaller birds can outmaneuver a hawk and will fly above it, swooping down to pull feathers out of it’s head. Another not so polite thing to do while flying overhead it to poop on the hawk. With all the ruckus, hawks realize they have been spotted, their stealth has been lost and generally move on to another area..
Although rare, full grown crows do make mistakes and can be captured by a hawks. I did run across a few videos that proved the theory. Not going to post here on a ‘gory clause’, but go ahead and do a search on You Tube if you’re curious.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl