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Crows mobbing...


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#1 Sinuous

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:12 PM

This isn't my first time seeing this, but I thought I should share this. Just a few minutes ago, I was sitting at the computer, door open, TV on, and I heard some crows outside. I thought nothing of it first, since it's the norm (crows are always particularly loud). They sounded louder than usual, however, and aggravated, but I still ignored it. Suddenly, in the midst of all the shouting crows, I heard another sound, like a screeching hawk. At first, I was confused, since during the time, the TV was producing no sound and was fast-forwarding. I want outside the door and saw about 10 to 12 crows in hot pursuit of a red-tailed hawk. I hurried to grab the camera, but I only managed to get a shot of one of the crows, as they were disappearing above the rooftop, which blocked most of the action. Well, yeah, pretty exciting incident for me. What about you? Anything similar?

#2 jsa47

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:39 PM

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There were 2 crows attacking this hawk but it didn't seem to care. Whenever he got hit he would flip a little and go back to flying.
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#3 creeker

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:42 PM

I see that type of behavior almost every time I go birding. I saw some Crows chasing a Raven today, when I was leaving work.
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#4 Platypus

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:52 PM

There were 2 crows attacking this hawk but it didn't seem to care. Whenever he got hit he would flip a little and go back to flying.

That Red-tailed Hawk has every single field mark for the species displayed in an astoundingly obvious fashion. What a model bird - probably the best one I've ever seen! You should save that specifically to show people the field marks haha! Great shot.

#5 BarnSwallow

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:08 PM

When I walk in the woods behind my house, I often hear crows mobbing something. Usually a red-tailed or red-shouldered, but sometimes an owl. Usually, by the time I get to where they are, their victim is moving on.

A couple of weeks ago I was riding (a horse) in the field behind my house, and heard the usual crows mobbing something in the trees right above me. I didn't bother to look, figuring it was one of the usual suspects - I had just seen a red-shouldered nearby. I rode around in the field a bit, then heard the crows' noise increase. I looked up just in time to see an adult bald eagle fly off!

#6 horseface

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:11 PM

Not multiple crows lately but the other day I saw a crow and a mockingbird team up to mob a poor fox who looked like he had no idea what he'd done wrong. All of which I thoroughly enjoyed watching.

#7 Sinuous

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:35 PM

I see that type of behavior almost every time I go birding. I saw some Crows chasing a Raven today, when I was leaving work.

A bit ironic, considering the two are both very similar birds. :P
(Though, crows are naturally smaller.)

And to everyone: I really enjoyed all the stories!

#8 stewart1998

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:02 AM

I see, or hear this all the time, here. The crows seem to get fun out of it!

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#9 creeker

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:13 AM

I've seen most of my daytime owl sightings by following the mobbing crows. I always go check out what they're attacking. I've seen everything from Bobcats to Red-shouldered Hawks, and so many others in between. I'm only disappointed when it's nothing more than a stinking feral housecat.
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#10 spookyjimjams

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:12 PM

Everyone in the Corvidae family are jerks.

I constantly see crows, ravens, magpies, and jays torment all birds of prey. Recently I watched a very patient Great Horned Owl take a beating in a tree, and a not so patient Red-shouldered Hawk scream at them to go away.

As a kid I watched our resident Western Scrub Jay swoop down and pull fistfuls of fur from our sleeping German Shepherd. He didn't mind...but the cats didn't think it was so funny when it was their turn.

They're all little buggers.

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#11 JimBob

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

I like corvids mobbing. I can see cool birds that way. That is how I got my yard bird Bald Eagle, and Great-horned Owl. I follow crows to find a raptor or owl. Jays or mockingbirds to find crows.

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#12 EyesOnTheSky

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

Everyone in the Corvidae family are jerks.


Yes they are. I used to think there was some reason they mobbed raptors until someone told me that Corvids simply do not like raptors. Corvids are just jerks.

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#13 johnnybirder

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:54 PM

Hey. Today birded North Jersey and heard a Barred Owl call in the middle of the day? Guess he is lonely. Anyway, every couple of hours we would here him call and the next thing you now a couple of crows start to sream and started mobbing the poor bird. Wish we saw him though. I wish Crows weren't so protective! :angry:
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#14 BarnSwallow

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:58 AM

I have barred owls around here that call in the middle of the day in the summer all the time. Not quite sure why they do it.

The mobbing isn't always from being protective. They have found, and I have seen, crows join in the mobbing when they have no reason to. They'll come in from pretty far away - far enough away that the raptor poses no threat to them. They seem to do it just for the hell of it.

#15 creeker

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:28 AM

I have a crow call that I have fun with sometimes. I'll blow the three caw alarm call, and crows will materialize out of nowhere! One time I had about a hundred circling and looking for their grounded in distress brother, not knowing it was me!
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#16 Hawk Henries

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

Slightly off topic~

I often see massive numbers of crow's flying to a "gathering" point, coming from all directions. We call it their "Meeting"....
It doesn't happen everyday (that I am aware of). A couple weeks ago there were thousands maybe tens of thousands going to the meeting place. While on the highway doing the speed limit of 75 (hope no one is a HWP) I watched for two miles as crows filled the sky all flying to the same place. It usually occurs in the evening~my first thought was this was their roosting place but it doesn't make sense to me that these large gatherings don't happen every night. Any ideas what is going on?

#17 creeker

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:53 PM

Slightly off topic~

I often see massive numbers of crow's flying to a "gathering" point, coming from all directions. We call it their "Meeting"....
It doesn't happen everyday (that I am aware of). A couple weeks ago there were thousands maybe tens of thousands going to the meeting place. While on the highway doing the speed limit of 75 (hope no one is a HWP) I watched for two miles as crows filled the sky all flying to the same place. It usually occurs in the evening~my first thought was this was their roosting place but it doesn't make sense to me that these large gatherings don't happen every night. Any ideas what is going on?


I see the same behavior here in the evenings. I haven't noticed if it is every evening or not. I always just figured it was communal roosting.
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#18 Paruula

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

During the winter, they typically roost communally every night, but the location changes. We have a winter roost of around 30,000 crows, and in the evening large groups will form these "pre-roosts" before congregating on the main site. Overall, they're pretty mobile, but they definitely have their favorite sites and will return to them regularly.

Also unrelated, but I'm kind of a crow stalker here. There's an adult female with only half her upper bill that I see regularly in one area with a gang of youngsters, but it has to be at the right time of day, and I never see her during the summer. What amazes me is that she always sticks with a group of 30 birds or so, and while they may squabble among themselves for food, they never take food from her. On a few occasions when it has been extremely cold or the snow is very deep, I have seen several different crows feeding her. I'm assuming it's probably her mate and offspring, but I have no way of knowing for sure. It's always one adult, and several young birds. Cool stuff.

As for mobbing, I agree that it's pretty much a corvid addiction. I have seen jays mobbing crows, mobbing ravens. It gets ridiculous. :P

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#19 Sinuous

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:53 AM

Spotted more mobbing activity earlier yesterday, while walking outside. There was about 20 pigeons chasing down a red-tailed hawk. There was also a crow tagging along with the pigeons (which I thought was kinda funny :P), but the hawk just flew away and the pigeons started chasing the crow! :lol:

#20 JimBob

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:59 PM

Yesterday I saw three Blue Jays mobbing a crow. . . this crow was trying to eat the chicks of some robins. The parent robins were trying to stop it, but without the help of the jays I don't think any of the baby robins would have survived. So mobbing can help!

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