Corvids are among our most frequently seen birds and include in their number, magpies, jackdaws, rooks, jays and – most probably the common of all – the crow. Crows can be very dominant in gardens and their raucous caw is unmistakeable as they lay claim to territory. Their full name is ‘carrion crow’ (Corvus corone) but they will in fact eat most things, including fruit and seed. A large part of their diet will be insects and earthworms. They are also known to raid other birds’ nests to steal eggs or young chicks, and I’ve even heard farmers complain of them attacking young sleeping lambs.

There are a couple of trees at the end of our garden (actually in neighbouring gardens) where local crows compete constantly with magpies and wood pigeons for dominance. I took this sequence of photos during an afternoon when the crows were repeatedly swooping between the two trees to see off an equally determined pair of magpies. It’s an unending battle and dominance switches regularly between the different species.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Just yesterday I saw crows tormenting a raven in a nearby tree. Ravens are solitary birds and it didn’t stand a chance against a fairly big flock of crows.

    1. It seems that’s always the way, with the larger birds being mobbed by more aggressive smaller birds. I don’t often see ravens although we do have them locally. It’s usually buzzards that I see being pushed around by corvids.

  2. I saw a sparrowhawk idling over a field yesterday and a crow aiming in its direction. They are first class mobsters and frighten foxes much more than magpies do. But there is something about their grim theatrics which is fascinating and of course, they are extremely intelligent.

    1. I’ve not seen crows go after foxes, but I can well believe that foxes are spooked. We also get a lot of jackdaws who are partial to a bit of mobbing. I’ve never really seen magpies do it, now I think of it.

      1. Yes, I can only think of one sighting I’ve had which involved magpies bothering a bird of prey (and their victim was a golden eagle, of all things!) Have had the odd one in England that liked to tug a fox’s brush. But on the whole, they seem content to just loiter nearby.

Comments are closed.

Close Menu