Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Squirrels vs. crows

Do crows eat squirrels? There was a pretty substantial crows-vs.-squirrels battle raging across the street from my house today. My girlfriend was so worried about the possible demise of the cute baby squirrels that she ran over and drove the crows away with rocks. Of course, they soon returned and kept chasing the squirrels around the trunk of the tree. It certainly looked as though the crows were trying to catch the squirrels to eat them, but they were having poor luck. Soon, the mother squirrel (or father - I didn't check the gender) grabbed each of her baby squirrels, one at a time, in her (or his) mouth and fled across the street while being dive-bombed by about four big crows. After some more intervention by my yellow-penguin-pyjama-clad, rock-wielding girlfriend, who was motivated more by the cuteness of the babies than by a desire to intervene in this strange naturally occuring phenomenon, the squirrels made it to safety and the crows left.

So this is my question - answer if you know - do crows actually eat living things? Like, hunt and catch squirrels? I know they eat roadkill and other such carrion, but I have never seen a crow catch anything. Are they half-assed hunters or something? I think maybe they look like they're trying, but really they're kinda inept - like those skateboarders I see outside the local high school who do all kinds of stuff on their skateboards but who have never, ever, in all the time I have passed by and watched, landed a trick. Help me out here folks. Have you ever seen a crow eat a squirrel? Or even catch one? For that matter, have you ever seen a skateboarder land a trick...


  1. Crows are active hunters of small animals like mice, frogs, and apparently baby squirrels. I've seen a crow catch and carry a mouse, but small animals are much harder to catch than carrion or garbage. I wouldn't say they're poor hunters, but they don't have to rely on hunting.

    On the subject of birds, I have to say that the Canada geese around here are too damn cocky. I was biking along the Ottawa River pathways and there were geese strolling across the path, or even sitting in the middle of the path, like they expected me to stop for them.

    And no, I have never seen a skateboarder land a trick.

  2. I have to agree, Canada Geese are cocky in the EXTREME, even in the US. They come across the border, and they don't even have to have the enhanced licence or a passport, which I think is totally disciminatory. They muck up the shore line with bird logs, they raise their little ones with this sense of entitlement then they flee to florida when I have to stay and work all winter.

  3. They totally do eat baby squirrels. I know this for a fact.

  4. Don't know about live prey but they eat nuts... and so do squirrels.

    Hi, I surfed in here on mutual interest and see we have several. I'm in the UK, so not really up with your show, sorry!

    I'm hoping soon to post a vid about interesting habits of crows, in one of my blogs, so maybe stop by?

  5. It happens a lot out here in BC - the attack of baby squirrels. No wonder Hitchcock did well with the Birds movie!

  6. I feed squirrels,chipmunks&birds in our neighbourhood&this spring 2 crows showed up&soon after their baby!While I didn't see the catch,yesterday morning I saw 2 of the crows carry up a chipmunk onto the roof of the building across the street where they've been nesting!While I have no idea whether it was a live kill or not,I can definitely say they do eat chipmunks!

  7. I came here because I have a definite lower concentration of squirrels since some crows have been feeding at my feeder. I was wanting them thinned out, but not sure what these birds will do for the other birds I wanted to attract. Thanks. I think the crows did it! (lol)

  8. I have the opposite happening. The squirrels seem to scare off the crows. The crows are so hesitant to come in my yard to eat and when they finally do, the squirrel seems to ruffle the crows and they fly away. Are the crows just too timid? I can't seem to get them to eat anything as the squirrels or jays gobble everything up before the crows have the courage to "come on down" in the yard. They sit on the fence and watch me put the food out, but then they just sit there while the other critters take their fill. Any suggestions?

  9. I saw a large crow catch a young squirrel and fly off with it. Maybe the crow thought the squirrel was road kill, as the squirrel was along the road-side. Anyway the wiggling squirrel was dropped at about 30ft! And the squirrel ran back up a tree surviving the ordeal.

    1. That is a crows best killing move. They do it to baby rabbits also. Pick them and drop them onto the earth.