Why are crows the arch enemies of hawks?
Outside our windows today, there were about 20 crows that were constantly crowing and harrassing a hawk that frequently patrols our woods.
This is not an unusual sight, actually. There are lots of days that this or other hawks visit our woods and once in a while devour a dove (really sad to see, especially when you see that dove's usual partner all alone, but hey, that's life, the hawk's gotta eat too).
But I'm curious why crows are so united in their fury against hawks. They're not competing for the same food (doves and small animals), I don't think.
Interestly enough, last night there was a Great Horned Owl on a tree outside our window too -- positively gorgeous and only 20 feet away from the window! And a small group of Cardinals were tweeting up a storm and taunting it for a while, then they moved on.
Any bird experts out there know what's up with crows and hawks?
- SCLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
They have learned that 'mobbing' (the correct term) distracts the hawk so it can't hunt and generally so badly annoys the bird that it leaves the area. With a hawk gone, the crows are safer so they're really doing a 'neighborhood watch' which includes driving the 'undesireables' out of the neighborhood.
- SharLv 61 decade ago
A hawk is a lone creature..a bird of prey. Whereas, the crow is like dogs, pack natured. A crow will call its mates and fellows to help. A hawk is not that way unless it is calling its mate or young. Lived in the southern US and know them all. The owl will do the same.
- ToddLv 71 decade ago
Most birds, especially crows, will mob or drive off a bird of prey (such as hawks and falcons) because birds of prey tend to do things like eat them and their children.