Crows Mob a Red-Tailed Hawk

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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

34 thoughts on “Crows Mob a Red-Tailed Hawk

  1. I love this! It’s fascinating how a community will rise up and say ” no more!” Why can’t humans do that? I mean, yes, there have been historical movements, true. I guess we would get in serious trouble for aerial pooping on politicians, etc.

    I have seen mixed companies of little birds and crows mobbing an owl in the daytime, rousting the poor thing out of its tree and pursuing it through the woods, screaming and darting at it. The owl was so sleepy it could barely fly. I don’t know how the chase ended. It was a barred owl, huge.

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    • I blew coffee out my schnoz when I got to the aerial pooping part! 😲 If I could pull off ‘fly pooping’ on the politicians I didn’t like. .. I think I would not only be voted in as president, I wouldn’t be full of shyt 💩 anymore either! 😉😂😃
      I have also seen mixed flocks do this, but research is vague on species joining forces.
      I would be pretty pissed if I got woken up and forced to move.. double that pissedness if I wasn’t presented with coffee!
      Mother Nature clearly has a sense of humor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Safety in numbers. There was a snake crawling up a tree to a mockingbird’s nest of babies. There were two adult mockingbirds diving at it. Husband got a hoe and chased off the snake. I ran the other way …… no help at all. lol

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  3. On the other side of the pass in Ellensburg WA, where Mongo & I go pheaseant hunting, there are resident bald eagles. I have seen the same behavior of crows chasing eagles. However, if there are two eagles on the field, there are no crows. Smart birds, those crows….

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    • Yup!
      I’ve only driven through your area (Oregon / Washington) it’s so beautiful there! I would love to watch the bald Eagles there. We have a couple here, but you really have to look for them.
      Mmmm. Pheasant is a fav of mine! The bosses son works at a nearby hunt club and brings me smoked ones and pot pies. 😋

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      • I like to make gumbo from the legs. I add chicken, and anduoille sausage. For the breasts, I use them like veal cutlets. They work great in piccata, marsala, parmigiana, and my favorite, saltim boca. However, my daughter is the Princess of Pheasant Cutlets. I am a little more hit and miss in my culinary pursuits. Of course, pheasant schnitzel goes over well also. Today’s dinner is Chinese Imperial Roast Duck. It takes two days to prepare, with three separate cooking steps. First time with this dish. I have my fingers crossed.

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              • Buuuummmer.
                In my childhood we were sometimes given wild game. The first thing we learned is: check very well for bird shot, lest you crack a tooth! The second was, debone and tenderize, unless you need some serous chewing exercise. Especially wild duck, which is always tough and stringy because of what Ilex said. Many hunters I know only eat the leg quarters and use the rest for soup stock, since there’s no breast meat worth eating. If you really want to roast it, plan to parboil the whole bird for half an hour, let it cool, then put it on a plate in the fridge lightly covered with a towel overnight for the skin to tighten up so it will be deliciously crispy when you roast it stuffed with onions and garlic at 325 F.

                The absolute best guide to cooking wild game is The Joy of Cooking.

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  4. Nice example in your post. Here in my neck of the woods various bird species including the crows cah and the twitter of small birds can be heard trying to drive away, a would be predator. Sometimes it happens several times a week.

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  5. Pingback: American Crow ~ Corvus brachyrhynchos | Midwestern Plants

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