Ask the Bird Lady: is that a crow dive-bombing the hawk?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Red-tailed hawk in tree, crow in air
Photo by Jan Hansen

A reader asks:

In this photo you previously identified the red-tailed hawk in the tree. My question: is that a crow dive-bombing the hawk to make it go elsewhere??"

Christine Southwick responds:

Crows will mob any raptor. If you hear a large loud group of crows, look to see where they are congregated.

Crows will form in "globs" and harass any raptor, usually hawks and owls. If you watch to see where they are dive-bombing the detected "enemy" (although crows are also nestling robbers) you may well find an owl that you would not otherwise see.

Most owls don't move, they just ignore the pests until the crows get tired and find something else to annoy.

Hawks will usually move to another tree, which you can tell by the crow chorus changing into a crescendo.

It is worth taking the time to check out the action, the next time you hear a crow mob.


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