Crow town

 

"American Crow"

Crows are becoming more & more numerous as the weather warms up. Big flocks of them fly around, especially over the highways, looking for road kill. They fly in HUGE flocks. You’ll see a couple hundred fly overhead, & they’ll flap noisily away, until you can barely see them, & just when they’re about to disappear, a few hundred more show up. They do that until there must be about a thousand of them, & then they finally disappear. Crows are quite intelligent, & some, if raised by humans, can imitate human voices. The crows most common call is a series of harsh CAWs, but actually they have at least 20 different calls. (Although they all sound pretty close to the same thing to me.)Click on the link to hear them. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Crow/sounds. See See what you think.

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Hawk vs. Crow

"Red-tailed hawk."

A few days ago I saw a Red-tailed hawk  flying over a highway, and it was being closely  followed by 3 crows, who were diving at the hawk and harassing it with their beaks and claws. This behavior is called ‘mobbing’. It happens when several animals of one species gangs up on an animal of another species, often trying to drive the animal out of their territory. This ‘mobbing’ behavior is particularly common with birds, especially the bolder ones, like seagulls, crows, and Blue jays. The crows that were harassing the Red-tailed hawk were most likely trying to  drive the hawk out of their territory. Crows and hawks don’t eat the same food, but Red-tails will eat crows, so the crows were trying to drive the hawk away from their feeding, and, now that it’s spring, nesting grounds. The Red-tailed hawks are nesting now too, although some nest in April. They typically lay 2 – 3 white eggs, sometimes with brown markings, in a tree or on a man-made nesting platform. The juveniles look very much like the adult: Brown back with white markings, and white belly with brown markings, but they do not develope the red tail until their 2nd year.