Birds

Crows Mobbing and Being Mobbed

Crows mob birds that come too close to their nests.

So what is mobbing? Mobbing is exactly what it sounds like. It is when a group of birds crowd around an intruding bird, or animal, and attack it in order to thwart the threat.

Crows Mobbing Hawks

ODE_8768

American Crow Mobbing a Red-shouldered Hawk. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

In these photos an American Crow is doing just that — mobbing a predator. The predator in this scenario is the Red-shouldered Hawk. It’s a dramatic display.

ODE_8769

American Crow Mobbing a Red-shouldered Hawk. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Sign up for The Animal Perspectives Monthly and get updated on wild birds.

Crows patrol their territory and when a predator is in the area, they mob it. Predators, like Red-shouldered Hawks, are known to take nestlings from Crows’ nests.

 

ODE_8396

American Crow Mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

It isn’t just Red-shouldered Hawks that are predators, Red-tailed Hawks also pose a threat. In an area where Crows have a large territory to defend (such as rural areas), this can occur several times a day.

ODE_8395

American Crow Mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

In the case of the birds photographed above, the mobbing behavior occurred around the same time each day and daily for over a month!

Crows Being Mobbed

ODE_4885

American Crow Looking for a Meal of Barn Swallow Nestling. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

This Crow was hanging out around a footbridge at a manmade lake. It didn’t take long to realize why the Crow was there.

It was checking out the nests that the Barn Swallows had built underneath the bridge.

ODE_4892

Barn Swallows Defending Nestlings. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

The Crow was unsuccessful in its pursuit of a Barn Swallow lunch. Why? Well, check out the behavior of the smaller birds. The Barn Swallows grouped together and harassed (or mobbed) the Crow into fleeing.

ODE_4931

Barn Swallows Mobbing an American Crow. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Why Birds Mob

ODE_0563

Eastern Kingbirds Mobbing an American Crow. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

These images show exactly why birds mob. Unfortunately, in this example, it was too late for the Eastern Kingbird nestling.

The Crow was able to pluck this nestling from its nest. This happened three more times over the course of a few days. When I finally found the nest, the Eastern Kingbirds were actively defending it from a Crow perched in a nearby branch.

ODE_0568

Eastern Kingbirds Mobbing an American Crow. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

It wasn’t a good year for the Kingbirds…

Interested in learning more about what you just read? Sign up for The Animal Perspectives Monthly.

Become a Patron! https://www.patreon.com/AnimalPerspectives

Learn More About Wild Birds

New Book Available: The 15-Minute Birder

Why I Dumped My Bird Bath This Week and Why You Should Too

Sexual Dimorphism in Birds

Wordless Wednesday: Green Heron

Found a Baby Bird? Here’s What to Do

Advertisements

Categories: Birds

Tagged as: , , , ,

2 replies »