• Elle
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Crows do eat baby birds occasionally, but they are not the main predators to them. Snakes and squirrels are far more common predators to baby birds, and crows are on par with white-tailed deer, which are usually thought of as herbivores. Predation is a natural part of the ecosystem, and crows should not be demonized for it when they aren’t even main predators to baby birds. Crows also benefit the ecosystem by eating invasive pests such as Japanese beetles. I was very surprised to learn that there are no ravens at all in my state, and the last sighting of one was in 2007. However, I see American crows frequently. I have even seen them at my high school!
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. Songbird baby predation is mostly from snakes and squirrels including chipmunks.  Crows actually account for very few baby bird deaths. 2. I have a band of crows living near our large front yard, however I have not been able to find their nest yet. 3. I live in an area that only has crows, no ravens.  But if I saw them side by side I could distinguish them apart. 4. Crows alert the neighborhood of predators,  they eat nice and insect pest, they distribute seeds.
    • 1. Songbirds have many predators that are far more aggressive in killing songbird nestlings. For example, chipmunks, squirrels and snakes are the most aggressive in raiding songbird nests for baby birds. Crow, do eat baby birds, but there are many predators after chipmunks, etc. to nestlings that are far more destructive including insects and cowbirds. 2. In my part of the country (CT, U.S.), crows are regulars at the shoreline. However, they do sometimes come to my backyard feeder and several times have been seen near the fast food corridor in my town. I have never seen a crow's nest. 3. Only occasionally will I see a raven in the area. They are sometimes seen at the shoreline. I have never seen a raven inland in CT. When travelling to Maine, there is a greater opportunity to see ravens. Ravens always seem much bigger and huskier than crows. They are always a surprise when I see them. One other place I have seen ravens is out west at one of the national parks sitting on a brick barrier/fence post. His behavior was extremely calm and allowed a lot of photos to be taken of him. My guess is that he has had lots of experience with tourists. Crows, when I see them - they are always with other crows. 4. Since they warn others of predators any of the smaller birds and mammals (such as chipmunks and squirrels) are warned in advance. My interest in crows and birds in general came from seeing this behavior in crows. I was watching a ring-necked pheasant in a field when a hawk landed nearby. Within a short time two crows also arrived and started cawing; then attacking/flying close to the hawk to scare him off. I do not know if the hawk was really after the pheasant, but it was a field, it could have been mice or something else. What I do know is that the hawk left because of the crows and did not take anything with him.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      About crow predation: Yes, I've seen a crow steal and eat a baby robin, with two very distressed parents dive-bombing and watching the event.  It broke my heart, and for a time I was no longer a fan of crows. In my utopian fantasy world, nothing would be eaten by anything else.  But the fact is, that's the food chain that keeps this world alive, gruesome though it may be at times. The flip side is, crows are neighborhood guard dogs, chasing other predators away so that other birds and small animals can survive another day. And they do it with gusto and panache. Besides, now that I've learned that chipmunks and squirrels, whom I also adore, are serious nest predators, how can I hold it against crows?
    • Diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I was surprised to learn that chipmunks and squirrels were the main predators of baby birds. I would point that out to anyone that says crows are the culprits. I think I have seen both ravens and crows in NYS. Mostly, it’s crows. I do hear them warn the animals whenever someone is in the area. I think I can identify them better now. 
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      In regards to #1, I would point out that snakes and squirrels are the biggest danger to songbird nestlings than crows. To answer #2, I go back to the 60's  after graduating from high school. I went rabbit hunting with a friend in east central Missouri. We were walking through a large field with forest on either side of it. We saw two crows heading for us and then veer around us just out side of shotgun range. I always thought that was amazing and have since then always considered crows intelligent.
    • Daphne
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I live in Atlantic Canada, and we have both crows and ravens, although the ravens are less obvious. Tons of crows in all kinds of habitat: on the seashore, in built-up areas, parks, feeders. We also have squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons -- all "cute" until you learn they are heavy predators of nestlings. I have crows all day long at my feeder area so I love observing their interactions among themselves as well as with me and my small dog. They have figured us out! They pick up bread chunks and fly to my house to dunk in the birdbath that is near my feeders. I've seen a parent bird do that, then feed the soggy bread to a juvenile with an injured leg that could bear no weight. I believe that was extra feeding she wouldn't have had to do if it was healthy, but its leg healed in the end and it could forage for itself. The two most important things I learned from this first lesson is how to differentiate between crows and ravens, and that crows are by far the least responsible for nest predation.
      • Jason
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        According to the Cornell crow lesson I just took, crows are NOT "heavy predators of nestlings," but rather are tied with deer for the second least nestling predation.  Snakes and squirrels account for more that half nest raids.
    • if a neighbor were complaining about crows killing baby birds I would tell him that the biggest killers of baby songbirds are small mammals like cute chipmunks and squirrels and snakes. Songbirds and small mammals may benefit from crows since crows are good warning systems for predators..
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live in Alaska. We have a lot of crows but,  I think many more ravens. This may come out in later sessions but the ravens here mimic an incredible variety of sounds, mimicking it seems not only other birds but other animals.  But with respect to the current lesson, is there any data on nest predation by cats (feral or domestic).  I thought that domestic cats roaming outside were an issue with bird predation in general.
      • Jason
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        I've heard ravens do pitch-perfect imitations of the beeps of trucks backing up.
    • Pamela
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have 4- 6 crows that come to my backyard at least 3 or 4 times a week. They are a group who hang around together and its obvious that they're friends. they tend to feed on seeds that the songbirds throw down when they are feeding on my bird feeder. I love watching them fly and congregate together in the trees or on my front lawn looking for insects. I enjoy hearing the different calls they make. I wish I knew what their different calls mean. It looks like I live in an area (New Hampshire) where there are both crows and ravens but I've never seen a raven here.
    • Kyra
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      - I would share with my neighbors the small percentage of next robberies due to Crows. -I live in Western NY and have seen both Ravens and Crows. I witnessed Crows this summer going "crazy" over the arrival of a large hawk in our wooded backyard. They certainly let the entire neighborhood know there was a predator nearby. -I'll be on the lookout for a nest!
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I would tell the person complaining about crows killing nestlings that squirrels do kill a much higher number but regardless of the numbers the crows are just doing what crows naturally do, just as any other animal does.  Then I would agree with them that it was still sad.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I live in the Pacific NW now but previously lived on the east coast where crows were prevalent but no ravens. Out here it has been interesting to see the differences between the 2 species, particularly that ravens seem more solitary and crows are often together in small groups or large flocks. I live near the University of Washington Bothell campus which is next to a large wetland and there is a flock of ~10,000 crows that gather there in the winter.  Before moving out here had never seen anything like it and it's pretty cool at dusk to see the crows gathering from all directions as they make their way to the site....and yes, it can get pretty loud at times! Have also often seen them mobbing hawks and eagles so they are definitely warning other animals and songbirds of their presence.
      • Karen
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Here in Vanvouver British Columbia the crows choose one of the busiest intersections in this urban area to congregate on winter evenings.  As the rushhour traffic streams below them, thousands of crows stream from every direction to occupy tree branches, telephone wires and roofs.  I wonder what impels them to travel so far to congregate with others of their kind?  Does each bird have its own designated perching site?  Who decides who sits where?  Do they have to purchase tickets?
    • margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Alarms when predators near. Provides food for larger animals. Leaves behind nests for owls.
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm a migratory person - that is I travel the country and work as a volunteer camp or park host.  I'm currently at a park in the Pacific Northwest where we have tons of crows and I love them for many reasons.  For one, they're entertaining - they go from campsite to campsite to see if any campers have left anything interesting behind.  Secondly and maybe my favorite - they help me keep the campsites clean!  You go it - any little small tasty morsels left around are quickly cleaned up by the crows so they make my job a whole heck of a lot easier.  I also appreciate that they help keep the small rodents at bay.   The last thing we want is the mice scaring campers away!  Lastly during the week when the campground is quiet I still have the crows to keep me company!
      • Robert
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        It's funny that that you say that because we go camping every summer here in the PNW and one thing that I have (or I guess haven't noticed!) is that fact that at most if not all of the campgrounds we've been too there hasn't been too many mice or other rodents around. Never thought that the crows could play a role.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I live where both ravens and crows reside. It’s so easy to here the throaty raven call even before seeing them. Our ravens live in the bush around a small, local lake and don’t come out into crow territory until the crows are gathering to leave for the winter.   I watched a sharp-shinned hawk sitting in a tree behind our house. They are amazing hunters, more like fighter jets isolating a bird from its flock for prey. I have noticed that the crows and magpies try to intimidate it and chase it out of the tree. Having such clever, strong birds in the neighborhood helps protects the songbirds.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in the mid Atlantic region and I see crows in lawns and parking lots. Now I know that I'm less likely to see a raven as they don't commonly live in my region year round. (but I will still try to id a murder of crows the next time I see one. Crows likely help other predatory birds find prey as they travel in groups or murders so the other birds know where to look for food.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Crows statistically eat many fewer bird's eggs than snakes and squirrels and other small mammals so don't be so quick to blame the crows!
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'd point out that it's interesting, data shows that squirrels and snakes actually eat more than 10 times the amount of baby birds as crows, and that of all baby bird predators, crows and deer are the least likely to eat baby birds.
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Our songbirds benefit from having crows around. They frequently benefit from the protection crows provide as we observe them mob the resident re-tailed hawk and cooper's hawks that live in our area. This also benefits us as we have learned to observe this behavior and stop what we are doing to scour the skies.
    • Katherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have had Crows around everywhere that I have lived in the Pacific Northwest.  Currently, I live near the ocean and have had Crows nest in nearby shore pines.  I've also seen Ravens in the taller wooded areas and near the beach dunes.   If a neighbor decried the murderous Crows, I would mention the study, emphasizing that deer and crows kill baby birds at the same rate which is way below insects!   I can usually distinguish Crows and Ravens by the shape of their tail feathers when they are flying but more by the calls--love the raucous sounds of the Ravens.
    • Trish
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live in Wildomar, California, right below the Santa Ana mountains. I have American Crows (20-30) in my yard, on my roof, every day. I am a recently retired educator and am enjoying watching all the birds that come on our property (just under an acre and very native vegetation). I have especially noted they will bring food, be it bread crumbs they left in the bird bath or the dead rabbit, hit by a car, that they dragged up under our pepper tree. As a teacher in nearby Murrieta I saw crows open paper lunch sacks, pull a sandwich out of its baggie and enjoy a tasty meal. I started advising my first graders to keep lunches secured inside backpacks! I never see crows alone, although at times 2 or 3 seem to lag behind the group. I have also noticed they seem to almost have a schedule. Every morning, on the roof, in the yard digging for and eating insects, noisily starting their day. At first the noise they make stomping on the roof bothered me, but I have become rather fond of “my” crows…hence my interest in learning more about them…
      • Ann
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I live in coastal Orange County, CA where there are plenty (with a capital P) of crows. We had a 60 foot tall pine tree next to our driveway that apparently had a crow's nest at the top. One day a large pork rib bone fell from the sky and nearly hit me as I was standing in the driveway. So indeed, crows are opportunistic feeders. The crow nesting at the top of our tree must have raided someone's picnic or trash can. The bone was picked completely clean so there wasn't even anything left for the ants. It must have made a tasty meal for the babies.
    • Candace
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      My neighbor has no inclination to kill crows, but if she did I would tell her that crows that frequent her property recognize her face and think she's nice.
      • Stephen
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        We live in coastal Santa Barbara County California in a senior resident community. My wife and I walk almost every morning. We noticed two crows sitting in a tree and threw out some peanuts. After doing this for a few mornings they began following us through the park and were rewarded with more peanuts. If we delay the peanuts they will buzz us, flying from behind about 1 foot off the ground within 2-3 feet of us, sometimes even flying between us when we are not walking too close together. We named the larger of the two "Corvid-19". They now wait for us every morning seated on the roof of the neighbor's house. If our departure is delayed, they will start start cawing. This has been going on now for more than a year!
    • Candace
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and had never seen a crow in our yard even though we put out lots of seed, suet and peanuts.  One day, a crow finally appeared on the ground and it had a dragging wing.  It later flew away and now has come to visit once in a while.  A friend of mine spotted a crow with a dragging wing a few blocks away and I'm convinced it is our visitor.  I've occasionally seen crows on top of parking lot light posts and building roofs.  I always smile broadly and tell it "Hello crow; you're beautiful!"
    • Candace
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Upon hearing quite a ruckus coming from the forest behind our property, I spotted a hawk flying out over our lawn, with a murder of noisy crows in pursuit.  By chasing the hawk out of the forest, the crows nests were protected as were any other birds in the forest.